Last of Haiti's elected leaders depart from office: Report

Country has been struggling with chaos, unrest, shortages.
A crowd seeking passports in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Jan. 10, 2023

The last of Haiti's elected leaders reportedly left office this month, leaving the unstable Caribbean nation without political leaders at a time it is battling civil unrest, food shortages and other persistent crises. 

Last week, "[Haiti's] 10 remaining senators departed office after their terms ended," according to NPR, with the departure coming after the assassination of the country's president in 2021 and the reassignment and/or unelection of the country's mayors. 

The dozens of seats in the country's legislature are also unfilled; it has been over seven years since Haiti held national elections. 

The departure of its lawmakers comes as Haiti is still reeling from a series of natural and political disasters, including President Jovenel Moïse's 2021 disaster, a deadly cholera outbreak, a devastating earthquake in 2021, and persistent food, water and supply shortages. 

"The situation is catastrophic," Robert Fatton, a Haitian-born political science professor at the University of Virginia, told NPR.

"It would not be an exaggeration to say that the current crisis is one of the most severe crises that Haiti has ever confronted," he added.