Haiti misses deadline for presidential runoff

Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) Richardson Dumel

Haiti has again missed the deadline for an election that was scheduled to be held on Sunday.

Although an election was scheduled for April 24 as stipulated in the February 5 political accord to transfer power from the caretaker government to an elected one, provisional President Jocelerme Privert told the Miami Herald that he expects an election calendar to be published by the end of May.

His acknowledgment that an election would not be taking place comes amidst mounting pressure from the international community for Haiti to resume the electoral process and have an elected president in office by May 14.

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

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

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 concerns about vote-rigging and a lack of transparency by the CEP and is leading an opposition alliance alleging widespread fraud in favour of Moise, who has been viewed as the chosen successor to former president Michel Martelly.

Martelly left office on February 7 without a successor being elected.

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