Amid Widespread Charges of Fraud, Haiti Cancels 2nd Round Presidential Election

Posted Jan. 6, 2016

MP3 Interview with Kim Ives, co-founder and an editor with the international weekly newspaper Haiti Liberté, conducted by Scott Harris

haiti

For a period of four years since 2010, local and legislative elections were postponed in Haiti under the administration of President Michel Martelly. This set up a situation where Martelly, whose government has been charged with pervasive corruption, has ruled by decree since January 2015. The first round of legislative elections held on Aug. 9, 2015 were disrupted by violence. And when Haitians went to the polls again on Oct. 25 last year to choose a successor to Martelly and participate in the second round of elections to pick new legislators, opposition parties charged that the process was marred by widespread fraud. Those charges were recently confirmed in a report issued by an independent panel. In the Oct. 25 election, Martelly's handpicked candidate, Jovenel Moise, a political unknown, won 32.8 percent of the vote, with opposition candidate Jude Celestin winning 25.3 percent of votes cast.

A second round presidential election originally scheduled for Dec. 27 was subsequently postponed until Jan. 17. But on Jan. 5, the head of Haiti's Provisional Electoral Council stated it was impossible to organize a presidential runoff in time to meet a Feb. 7 constitutional deadline for the handover of power from one elected president to another.

Adding to an already chaotic political environment, an alliance of eight opposition presidential candidates has demanded the resignation of the Provisional Electoral Council and the creation of a provisional government to complete the election process. Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with journalist Kim Ives, co-founder and an editor with the international weekly newspaper Haiti Liberté. Here, he assesses the current political situation in Haiti with analysis of Washington’s agenda and role in the process

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