The threat of instability in Haiti has prompted the Organization of American States to authorize a special mission to the troubled member nation.

In Washington, the OAS permanent council on Wednesday reached consensus on sending a mission to Haiti to help resolve a political stalemate.

Antigua Ambassador Ronald Sanders raised the specter of "utter bloodshed" in Haiti unless the OAS assisted. He holds the rotating chair of the OAS council.

The regional body took up the measure after receiving an urgent request from outgoing Haitian President Michel Martelly.

For days, Haiti's political leaders and others with influence have been working to find a solution.

But Martelly's due to leave office in 10 days. A runoff vote set for last weekend was called off amid a surge of violent protests.