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Haiti runoff election postponed sine die 

Almost two months after the first round of the presidential election held on 25 October 2015, the CEP eventually announced that the runoff election, initially scheduled to take place on 27 December 2015, is postponed sine die.

According to final results published by the Electoral Council (CEP), the two candidates qualified for the second round are Jovenel Moïse, PHTK, with 32.8 per cent of the votes, and Jude Célestin, LAPEH, with 25.3 per cent. However, since their publication the results are contested by all candidates, except Jovenel Moïse, who is backed by the Government. Over allegations of massive fraud, many candidates asked to recount the votes. While the electoral campaign was launched a few weeks ago, Jude Célestin has not yet confirmed his participation in the runoff election. Some candidates already stated they would support him in during the second round, but others keep rejecting the results, such as Moïse Jean Charles from Pitit Dessalines (3rd position) and Maryse Narcisse from Fanmi Lavalas (4th position), who claim they should have qualified for the second round if there was no fraud.

In order to overcome the political stalemate, President Martelly created by decree a National Electoral Evaluation Commission, composed by five representatives of different civil society sectors. The Commission had three days to assess the situation and make recommendations. However, four days after its creation the Commission was not yet established, and it is already criticized, as some of its members are seen as too closed to the Executive. This morning, Prime Minister announced that the Commission will be reviewed to take into account civil society recommendations.

On the other hand, both candidates and civil society organizations accused the CEP of corruption during the electoral process, revealing that some of its members received bribes in order to make sure candidates would be elected.

About the Author

FORMER Head of Programme, Haiti
Marie-Laurence Jocelyn Lassegue

Marie-Laurence Lassègue managed International IDEA’s programme to support democratic consolidation in Haiti. She worked to strengthen political parties, parliamentary structures and electoral processes, including for the increased political participation and representation of women, increased engagement with youth and improved accountability to citizens.