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Haitian President Leaves Office Without Successor Amid Protests

HeadlineFeb 08, 2016

Haitian President Michel Martelly has left office at the end of his five-year term without a successor in place, following mass protests demanding his ouster. The United States has been criticized for supporting Haiti’s disputed October elections, where the president’s handpicked successor, Jovenel Moïse, came in first out of more than 50 candidates, despite being virtually unknown. Last month, mass protests succeeded in postponing a scheduled runoff where Moïse was the only candidate—after his competitor, Jude Célestin, refused to take part. Martelly left office Sunday following a deal to have Parliament choose an interim president ahead of elections scheduled for April. His departure came on the 30th anniversary of the departure of Haitian dictator Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier, who was flown into exile aboard a U.S. government jet after a popular uprising.

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