Haiti is scheduled to hold the first round of its long-delayed presidential election. The country's electoral council postponed the vote after Hurricane Matthew devastated the Caribbean nation in October.
Electoral council president Leopold Berlanger said it was important not to exclude large sections of the population affected by the storm, to ensure the legitimacy of winning candidates. A second round runoff vote is scheduled for Jan 29.
At least 1,000 people in Haiti died when Hurricane Matthew ripped through the impoverished country, still reeling from the effects of the earthquake in 2010 as well as previous weather-related disasters.
Haiti's presidential election has already been postponed five times in the last year, with the interim president, Jocelerme Privert, having long since outstayed his original 120-day mandate in office.
A first-round vote for president was held on Oct 25, 2015, with the U.S. spending $33 million to support the election. A second-round vote should have taken place on Dec 27 but was delayed until Jan 2016. The January election never happened and on Feb 7 Jocelerme Privert took over as interim president after President Michel Martelly's term ended without an elected successor in place. The next scheduled date, Apr 24, also came and went without a vote and the election was then postponed until Oct 9, but Hurricane Matthew hit the island nation on Oct 4.
Date written/update: 2016-10-20