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Haiti run-off 'to go ahead' despite protests

Haiti run-off 'to go ahead' despite protests

Haiti

Haitian President Michel Martelly said the run-off election to choose the country’s next leader will take place on Sunday despite opposition protests.

In a recorded message on state television, Martelly said a small group of people were trying to destroy the country’s democratic process.

“Two days ago, they (the opposition) decided to terrorize the city of Port-au-Prince. They burned tyres, broke car Windows, set shops on fire, robbed poor vendors to put fear into the people so they don’t go out and vote,” said President Michel Martelly.

Haitian brothers and sisters, it is through elections that we can advance, that is why we ask the police and justice system to take all measures to protect life and property

Martelly has promised to beef up security during Sunday’s run-off elections and warned those who would disrupt the election process will be arrested.

“Haitian brothers and sisters, it is through elections that we can advance, that is why we ask the police and justice system to take all measures to protect life and property,” he added.

Thousands of opposition demonstrators protested across the streets barricading roads and destroying many polling centers on Tuesday (January 19) over claims of elections irregularities.

Jude Celestin who had emerged the second said he would withdraw on grounds that electoral authorities favoured the ruling party. This brought a lot of tension in Port-au-Prince with many of his supporters skirmishing with the police.

Celestin has not yet formally submitted his withdrawal from the election. The government had said that it was willing to meet the opposition’s demand regarding the elections. The elections had already been delayed twice since last year.

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