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Haiti parliament elects provisional president

After days of political uncertainty Haiti's legislature has chosen an interim leader. Jocelerme Privert promised to ensure stability and see canceled elections finally take place.

Lawmakers in Port-au-Prince elected Jocelerme Privert interim president on Sunday, after the country's

general election had to be suspended

over security concerns. Privert was sworn in quickly following a marathon session by both houses of parliament.

The senator and president of the National Assembly was one of three candidates running for the position, which is set to last only 120 days in a push to avoid political crisis in the deeply divided Caribbean country.

Ahead of the final vote, Privert gave a short speech in which he promised to "foster confidence within all sectors of society," maintain stability and have the postponed elections held "as soon as possible."

Former President Michel Martelly

ended his five-year term last week

without a successor because a runoff ballot planned for January 24 was canceled. The election was called off due to

violent unrest

after the opposition alleged that Jovenel Moise, Martelly's favored candidate, only got through the first round through corruption.

A deal reached by both houses of parliament hours

before Martelly's departure stipulates that a new election will be head on April 24, with the new president to take office on May 14.

The election dilemma is the latest in a series of troubles for the poorest country in the Americas. Although the powerful Duvalier dictatorship ended 30 years ago, the nation has struggled ever since to hold credible elections, which in turn has led to complications in increasing development and boosting the standard of living.

These goals were further complicated by a massive earthquake in 2010 that killed about 160,000 people and caused catastrophic destruction.

es/rc (AP, AFP)

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