Hatian President May Stay Beyond Term

May 6, 2010, midnight

President Rene PREVAL on Tuesday decreed that he could stay in office up to three months after his term ends on February 7, 2011. According to PREVAL'S Chief of Staff, this is in order to ensure that Haiti has a chief of state in the event that Presidential elections cannot be held on time. Some opposition members, however, variously denounced the decree as a power-grab, likening the President to past dictators, and accused PREVAL of trying to profit from foreign reconstruction assistance. Under law, the National Assembly must assent to the decree by Monday, when its term technically expires. Legislative elections due on February 28 were not possible to hold after a devastating January 12 earthquake.

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