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michel martelly

Haitian President Michel Martelly has left office at the end of his term amid tension over how he is to be replaced.

No successor has yet been chosen as opposition supporters challenge a deal to select an interim leader.

The first day of carnival has been called off over the threat of more opposition protests.

Haiti, the poorest country in the Americas, is still struggling to recover from a huge earthquake in 2010.

The last-minute deal aims to prevent the country from plunging into an immediate power vacuum.

In a speech, Michel Martelly said his biggest regret was that January’s presidential election had been postponed.

The runoff vote to elect Michel Martelly’s successor was shelved because of fears of violence and allegations of fraud.Michel Martelly ends term

It will now be held on April 24, with a new president due to be sworn in on May 14.

Under the latest agreement, parliament will elect an interim president and install a transitional government for a four-month term.

Michel Martelly is constitutionally barred from seeking re-election but has thrown his weight behind Jovenel Moise, a banana exporter who won the first round of the presidential election in November.

However, the result has been contested by the opposition challenger, Jude Celestin.

Jude Celestin accused the electoral authorities of favoring Jovenel Moise and threatened to pull out of the runoff vote.

PM Evans Paul – who is due to remain in his post until parliament agrees his replacement – has appealed for calm.

On February 5, protesters beat a man to death in the capital, Port-au-Prince, in a clash with ex-soldiers.

Haiti is voting in general elections that have been repeatedly delayed since 2011.

Thousands of police have been deployed as voters are choosing two-thirds of the senate and the chamber of deputies. A presidential poll is set for October.

President Michel Martelly, who is barred from running again by the constitution, has ruled by decree.

The opposition has accused Michel Martelly of abusing his powers.

Polling stations across Haiti are due to open at 06:00 local time and will close at 16:00.Haiti elections 2015

Nearly six million eligible voters are choosing 119 deputies and 20 senators from more than 1,800 candidates registered from different political parties.

The run-off round will be held on October 25 – the same day as the presidential election.

Several people have been killed since campaigning for Sunday’s poll opened in July.

Haiti’s police are being helped by UN police and peacekeepers to ensure safety during the voting.

Haiti’s parliament was dissolved in January over its failure to hold elections, leaving Haiti without a functioning government.

Haiti is one of the poorest countries in the world, and is still struggling with the legacy of the devastating 2010 earthquake.

Haiti’s PM Laurent Lamothe has resigned amid violent anti-government protests over delayed elections.

“I am leaving the post of prime minister this evening with a feeling of accomplishment,” Laurent Lamothe said in a televised address.

Protesters had called for President Michel Martelly and Laurent Lamothe to resign.

Michel Martelly was to have called polls in 2011, but they were postponed in a stalemate over electoral law.

Opposition politicians accuse Michel Martelly of wanting to rule by decree and that legislation that would authorize the vote unfairly favors the government.Haiti PM Laurent Lamothe resigns

The government argues that opposition politicians are dragging their feet in the hope of extending their time in office without elections.

Parliament’s mandate expires in January, and unless elections are held, Michel Martelly would rule by decree.

A commission set up to break the stalemate said on December 12 that PM Laurent Lamothe should resign, along with the head of the Supreme Court and the country’s election commission.

Michel Martelly said earlier that the accepted the commission’s findings, and would meet government officials on December 15 to discuss them.

Haiti is also still struggling to recover from a devastating 2010 earthquake.

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