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Haiti to vote again after scrapping 2015 election results


Haiti has announced plans to scrap the results of the October 2015 presidential election and setting new election date. This move will probably see interim president Jocelerme Privert stay in office until next year.

Haiti held its first round elections in October 2015 but the second round was postponed severally after the first runners-up alleged fraud. The country then chose Privert to act on behalf of the then outgoing president.

The electoral council accepted the proposition to scrap off the results of the first round election after an inquiry commission found fraud in the first round and set new dates for a fresh first round to be held on October 9, with a run-off vote on January 8.

“The Electoral Council has decided to repeat the first round of presidential elections and continue with the same electoral process. That is to say that it will be the same process. The candidates that participated in the first round will have to confirm their participation in the presidential electoral competition. Secondly, the Electoral Council, following recommendations of the Electoral Verification Committee, will analyse the documents from the 42 elected parliamentarians from 2015,” announced the President of Electoral Tribunal, Leopold Berlanger.

Giving the directive, the country’s director of electoral registrations, Philippe Augustine said the electoral process will begin just in August.

“The electoral campaign will start on August 24, 2016. This campaign will last 45 days. The first round of presidential elections will start on October 9, 2016 alongside the first round for 1/3 of the Senate as well as legislative elections,” said Philippe Augustin, the Director of Electoral Registrations.

However, the move by Haiti’s electoral council has attracted criticism from activists and civilians who disagreed on how the decision was met.

Haitian activist Jeantel Joseph faults the move and instead suggested that the decision should have incorporated political parties.

“If the Electoral Council wants to publish an electoral calendar, it needs to be done with the agreement of the political party. There is a president still missing. Haiti doesn’t have a president,” said the activist.

He added that the new elections will be set to favour Privert’s political allies. “The general public needs to stand up and demand Privert leave the National Palace because we see that his objective was to annul the elections, dismiss parliamentarians and organise elections which favour his political family. We know his ideology well,” declared the activist.

Earlier this week the United States warned that starting the elections from scratch could prolong the period Haiti remained without a democratically elected president.

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