PORT-AU-PRINCE – The second round of the presidential and legislative elections in Haiti, scheduled for Sunday, was not held because of the electoral crisis the country is going through, the general director of the Provisional Electoral Council, or CEP, Pierre Louis Opont, confirmed.
The head of the election entity said that the vote had been cancelled for the time being due to the impossibility of organizing it, given the fact that definitive results of the first electoral round have not yet been released.
Opont said that it is not necessary for the electoral authorities to issue a formal resolution to cancel the runoff, since it was the country’s president, Rene Preval, who called the public to the polls on the dates proposed by the CEP and now, the balloting has simply fallen by the wayside since the second round has not been able to be organized.
The election process suffered setbacks after the results of the first round were released putting former first lady Mirlande Manigat in first place with 31.37 percent of the votes and the government candidate, Jude Celestin, in second place with 22.48 percent, a situation that unleashed a wave of violent protests in which four people were killed.
The protests, headed by followers of singer and presidential candidate Michel Martelly, who was excluded from the runoff, led to a process to verify the first round results conducted by the Organization of American States.
The outcome of the election is currently awaiting the government’s transfer to the CEP of the report prepared by the OAS, which has delivered it to the president’s office.
According to the versions that have been leaked to the media regarding the report, which has not been officially acknowledged, Manigat garnered 31.6 percent of the votes in the first round, Martelly 22.2 percent and Celestin 21.9 percent, a situation which would disqualify the government’s favored candidate from contesting a runoff against Manigat.