US backs Haiti elections but not referendum amid call for rethink – France 24

France 24, Wahshington (AFP), 04/29/2021

The United States renewed support Thursday for Haiti holding overdue elections but said it did not back a constitutional referendum after US lawmakers warned that voting this year would only bring more turmoil.

Amid soaring violence and kidnappings, President Jovenel Moise has been ruling the Western Hemisphere’s poorest nation by decree after legislative elections due in 2018 were delayed and following disputes on when his own term ends.

State Department spokesman Ned Price said that elections set for September would “restore the legislature’s role in Haitian democracy.”

“Presidential elections scheduled for the fall of this year are necessary to transfer power peacefully and on a timely basis from one democratically elected leader to another,” Price told reporters.

But he voiced opposition to a June referendum championed by Moise that would consolidate powers around the presidency.

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