Haiti Postpones Presidential Runoff Election

Haiti Postpones Presidential Runoff ElectionHaiti Postpones Presidential Runoff Election

A presidential runoff election in Haiti scheduled for next Sunday has been postponed pending an investigation into accusations of fraud and irregularities. The opposition says the review is biased.

The allegations have led to a political impasse and protests, DPA reported.

The runoff was to pit Jovenel Moise from the ruling Haitian Party of Bald Heads against the opposition Alternative League for Progress and Emancipation of Haiti’s Jude Celestin, the second-highest vote winner in October’s first round election. The council did not say when the runoff election would be held.

The poorest country in the Americas, Haiti has been battered by political instability, coups and electoral fraud over the decades. If successful, the election would be the third consecutive democratic election in the country’s history.

Current, President Martin Martelly, who is barred from running for a second term under the constitution, announced last week that a commission would evaluate the electoral process and make recommendations to the electoral council following opposition accusations of fraud.

However, the commission has not yet begun its work amid claims from the opposition that it has been stacked with ruling party loyalists and would be no more than a “cosmetic solution”. Since the October elections, an alliance of opposition groups has demanded an independent review of the results.

The final results of the Provisional Electoral Council showed Moise received nearly 33% of the vote compared to 25% for Celestin, who was disqualified from second round voting in the 2010 election following a recount by the Organization of American States.