Préval has also issued a decree mandating the country’s nine-member Provisional Electoral Council to prepare for the presidential elections.
His five-year presidential term ends next February, but the Parliament recently voted to allow him to remain in office until May 14, 2011, exactly five years after he took office, should his successor not be chosen by the constitutional deadline of February 7.
In May, Préval said that he planned to do everything in his power to ensure that general elections were held before the constitutional deadline.
“If the election results are given before February 7, René Préval will leave February 7, 2011, but René Préval will not take responsibility to show he is irresponsible,” said Préval.
But he also noted that while the Haitian constitution states that the president must depart office on February 7, it also indicates that the head of state must serve for five years.
Due to delays and controversy in the 2006 presidential elections, Préval did not take office until May 14, 2006. He says he has no plans to stay beyond next May.
Opposition leaders have been calling for Préval to step down on February 7, stating that an interim government could organize the elections. They accused Préval of reneging on a pledge to leave office in February.
“Préval is showing he has a personal agenda, and it has nothing to do with the interest of the country,” said Evans Paul, an opposition political party leader.
The upcoming general elections are likely to cost US$44 million and delegates attending a donor’s summit in the Dominican Republic last month discussed ways to finance the polls.
President René Préval has announced November 28, 2010 as the date for presidential and legislative elections.