Haitian President Michel Martelly ends his term in office without an elected successor, allowing a caretaker government to take control of the country. Diane Hodges reports.
Protesters and police clash again in downtown Port-au-Prince on Sunday in the area as political unrest in the country continues. The violence occurred in the area that hosts the capital's heavily attended Mardi Gras celebrations, and prompted the government to delay the beginning of celebrations. Widespread unrest set off by an election that critics say was fraudulent meant the impoverished Caribbean nation was unable to hold a runoff to chose a new president before the term of outgoing President Michel Martelly ended. At a national assembly, he took responsibility for the crisis. (SOUNDBITE) (French) HAITIAN PRESIDENT, MICHEL MARTELLY, SAYING: "History will remember my failure, that I, and I alone, am responsible for these delayed elections." Martelly handed over the presidential sash, and the power it confers, during a ceremony at the national assembly. He issued a plea to the country's international allies for help in weathering this crisis. (SOUNDBITE) (Creole) HAITIAN PRESIDENT, MICHEL MARTELLY, SAYING: "I take advantage of this occasion to invite the nations that are friends with Haiti to remain on Haiti's side, and help us to monitor our young democracy." The national assembly is expected to elect a successor within the next four days to preside over an interim government, and rescheduled elections.