Haitian authorities announced that the country will postpone the elections to pick a successor to President Jovenel Moïse, who was assassinated in July. The fresh elections will be held on November 7, 2021, according to statements from a spokesperson of the country’s electoral council.

The dates for elections in the country were previously set for September 26. However, the electoral council, which consists of nine members, decided to push the elections further but did not give any reasons for the delay. The fresh elections will also consist of voting in a new legislative assembly and deciding on a referendum, according to reports from news agency Associated Press.

Currently, the country is led by Ariel Henry, who is serving as the Prime Minister. Henry, who was recently installed to the leadership position, said that the government of Haiti wanted to conduct a transparent and free vote and further promised to hold the voting as soon as possible.

However, the decision of postponing the elections to November was taken before the Caribbean country was struck by a deadly earthquake on Saturday, which has so far claimed the lives of at least 304 people while leaving nearly 1,800 people injured, according to reports from Associated Press citing local authorities.

The epicenter of the quake was approximately 12 km North-East of Saint-Louis du Sud and 100 km west of the capital Port-au-Prince.

Tremors were also felt in neighbouring countries including the Bahamas, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Turks and Caicos Island. Following the quake, the United States Geological Survey issued a tsunami warning, which was soon lifted. 

The poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, Haiti has been struggling with political instability for decades. During his government, Moïse faced protests from people demanding he to step down while gang violence wracked parts of the country.