Haiti misses deadline for presidential election

Provisional President Jocelerme Privert

Street protests erupted in Haiti on Sunday as the French speaking Caribbean island again missed the deadline for a presidential election needed to transfer power from the caretaker government to an elected one.

Provisional President Jocelerme Privert told reporters that the country should now choose its next president on October 30 – the same day for a senate election.

“Does the country have the financial means to organize two elections,” he told reporters when asked about the likely date for the vote.

Last week there was widespread speculation that the polls will not be held and spokesman for the Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) Richardson Dumel said that the body would not create “a new crisis” in Haiti by rushing ahead to stage the elections.

“There is no electoral environment favorable in Haiti at this time and for the third time, the second round is postponed indefinitely,” said Dumel.

The two main candidates who were expected to contest the presidential elections did not sign a document outlining the terms of reference of the Independent Commission of Electoral Evaluation and Verification.

Jovenel Moïse and Jude Célestin were not among representatives of political parties that signed and approved the terms of reference late last week.

No reasons have been given for their absence but Celestin has in the past expressed deep concern about vote rigging and a lack of transparency by the CEP .

Haiti has been in a state of political turmoil since the losing candidates questioned a first round presidential vote in October, 2015.

The authorities to date – have missed four deadlines for the runoff and are now establishing a team to evaluate allegations of fraud in the results from last year October.



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