MEXICO CITY, Oct. 14 (Xinhua) -- Haiti will hold long-delayed presidential elections on Nov. 20, the Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) announced on Friday.
Initially postponed by political turmoil, elections were pushed back yet again by last week's Hurricane Matthew, which devastated southern Haiti, leading officials to call off an Oct. 9 poll.
The CEP said it needed at least five weeks to prepare for the elections, "because a significant number of voting centers were partially damaged or partially destroyed," and "in some cases, voting centers are not accessible because of ... impassable roads in many locations," the daily Haiti Libre said.
In addition, thousands of Haitians displaced by flooding are without their national identity cards, and will require time to retrieve or replace them, the CEP said.
Haiti has consistently failed to meet its electoral timetable and is officially without a head of state.
The CEP called off a scheduled presidential runoff two days before voters were to go to the polls on Jan. 24, citing rising violence and threats against the election process.
The runoff pitted opposition candidate Jude Celestin, of the Alternative League for Progress and Haitian Emancipation (LAPEH), against ruling Tet Kale Haitian Party (PHTK) candidate Jovenel Moise.
Tensions rose after Moise won the first round on Oct. 25 with 32.8 percent of the ballots, followed by Celestin, who garnered 25 percent of the ballots.
The outcome angered supporters of the opposition, since going into the first round, polls showed Celestin was the favorite to win, with 33.4 percent support, while Moise trailed in distant second place with 17.5 percent.
In the meantime, the president of the National Assembly, Jocelerme Privert, has served as Haiti's provisional president.
Political instability has roiled Haiti since its first democratically-elected president, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, was ousted by a U.S.-backed coup in 2004. Enditem