Haiti's delayed presidential run-off election will take place on Jan. 24, President Michel Martelly said on Wednesday, as the Caribbean country struggles to meet a Feb. 7 constitutional deadline to inaugurate a new leader.
A record 54 candidates contested the first round on Oct. 25 but an uproar over allegations of fraud prompted election authorities to postpone a run-off scheduled for Dec. 27.
"The election will take place on January 24. I met with election authorities and I've received a letter from them confirming that date," Martelly said as he walked to his motorcade in the Petion-Ville suburb of Port-au-Prince.
The nation of about 10 million people has struggled to build a stable democracy since the overthrow of the 1957 to 1986 dictatorship of the Duvalier family and ensuing military coups and election fraud.
Martelly said his administration was doing all in its power to make sure free, fair and democratic elections are held so that he can transfer power to a new leader in a month.
"It is important for us to meet the February 7 constitutional deadline for the transfer of power even though I started my five-year term in May 2011," added Martelly, who has agreed to leave office about four months early.
Pierre Manigat, vice president of the electoral council, said it would do its best to meet the deadline.