Michel Martelly begins life after the Presidency (Martelly Facebook photo)
PORT AU PRINCE, Haiti -- Michel Martelly demitted office as president of Haiti when his five year term ended on Sunday.
There was however no successor, as weeks of unrest following the first round of the presidential elections prevented the scheduled run-off in January.
In the first round, the ruling party’s candidate Jovenel Moise led with 32.76 percent of the votes, ahead of opposition candidate Jude Celestin with 25.29 percent. The opposition has, however, rejected the results.
Under an agreement signed just before Martelly’s departure from office, elections are set for April 24 and the winner will take office in May.
On Sunday, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon welcomed the agreement reached by Haitian stakeholders, noting that it provides for immediate arrangements to preserve the institutional continuity of the country as well as a roadmap for the swift conclusion of the ongoing electoral cycle.
“Acknowledging that the agreement is in the spirit of the Haitian Constitution, the secretary-general calls on all actors concerned to implement it in order to ensure the democratic transfer of power to elected officials,” Ban said in a statement issued by his spokesperson.
The UN chief also encouraged all Haitian stakeholders to continue engaging in constructive dialogue to guide their country to a stable and democratic future, which he said is essential for tackling the challenges facing the Caribbean nation.
“The secretary-general encourages all actors to promote measures aimed at fostering calm and stability,” the statement further noted, adding that Ban reaffirmed the commitment of the United Nations to extend its full support to the Haitian people in the fulfillment of their democratic aspirations.