Haiti’s presidential and legislative runoff elections postponed
PORT AU PRINCE, Haiti -- The Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) in Haiti has announced that the elections of local authorities and the partial parliamentary and presidential runoff ballot that were scheduled for December 27, 2015, have been postponed until January, amid accusations by the opposition candidate of fraud and irregularities.
"We are technically ready for the election but the election has been postponed because there is a commission assessing the process," Pierre Manigat Jr, vice president of the electoral council, said. "This commission will make recommendations to the electoral council. We could not go on organising the election without waiting for the recommendations of the commission."
Ruling party presidential candidate Jovenel Moïse and former government executive Jude Célestin were due to face each other on Sunday. The vote will now take place in January, possibly on January 10, two of the council members said.
Moïse and Célestin came out on top in a field of 54 candidates in the first round on October 25. However, the third-place candidate in the first round alleged that ballots supporting him had been destroyed.
The winner will succeed President Michel Martelly in February.
Moïse represents the ruling Parti Haitien Tet Kale (Haitian Party of Bald Heads), named after Martelly's smooth scalp. He won nearly 33 percent of the vote in the first round.
Célestin, of the Alternative League for Progress and Emancipation of Haiti, won 25 percent.
The election will also determine a few remaining Senate and lower house seats that required a run-off in addition to local positions for hundreds of municipalities.
Photo: Vice president of the Provisional Electoral Council, Pierre Manigat Jr.