March 13, 2015 / 12:12 AM / 4 years ago

Haiti announces dates for presidential, legislative elections

PORT-AU-PRINCE (Reuters) - Haiti’s electoral council announced dates on Thursday for the Caribbean nation’s long overdue legislative and municipal elections, as well as a presidential vote later this year.

Elections for two-thirds of the Senate will be held Aug. 9 as well as the entire lower chamber of deputies. The presidential election will be held on Oct. 25 along with local and municipal elections with a presidential run-off, if necessary, on Dec. 27.

Haiti has been in the midst of a political crisis for months after the prime minister was forced to resign and parliament was dissolved on Jan. 15 over the failure to hold municipal and legislative elections.

Municipal elections have been delayed for more than three years, while elections for a third of the Senate’s seats were to have been held in 2012.

Haiti, the poorest country in the Western hemisphere, has a long history of convulsive elections and is still recovering from an earthquake nearly five years ago that leveled much of the capital, Port-au-Prince.

President Michel Martelly, a popular folk singer known by the stage name “Sweet Micky,” is barred from running for re-election under Haiti’s constitution, which does not allow consecutive terms.

In recent weeks, demonstrators in several cities have accused the government of corruption and high gasoline prices.

The registration process for political parties that want to present candidates begins on Monday. Voters must register on the electoral list before May 10.

Reporting by Amelie Baron; Writing by David Adams; Editing by Lisa Shumaker and Cynthia Osterman

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