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  HOME | Caribbean

Haiti Opposition Leader withdraws from Runoff to Protest "Coup Election"

PORT-AU-PRINCE - Haiti's opposition leader Jude Celestin, who officially withdrew his nomination Monday from the presidential runoff, lashed out at the international community for supporting a "coup election", referring to next Sunday's polls.

In a letter to the Provisional Electoral Council, or PEC, he stepped down from the runoff elections to be held on Jan. 24 and issued a public statement accusing the international community of double standards for holding "illegal elections" and treating Haiti as a "Second Level Country."

"The international community and the government have no respect for the Haitian people," said Celestin.

He urged the Haitian people to defeat this "unconstitutional plan" of selecting rather than electing a leader and stressed uniting against the enemies of the country.

"I'm not going to participate in an electoral coup (...) next Sunday," he added.

"Many people think that we are a group of idiots, but we want to respect the laws, do legal things," said Celestin.

He added he wants to "be a legitimate President, without fraud, with the popular vote and with the participation of the masses and from all classes."

Celestin was expected to go up against Jovenel Moise, the ruling party candidate, in the runoff to the presidential elections, which might be postponed a third time after his resignation.

Meanwhile, the PEC condemned Monday the burning of several of its offices in various locations in north Haiti, only a few hours before the opposition called out marches against the "fraud" committed during the first round of the presidential elections on Oct. 25, 2015.

The runoff was initially scheduled for Dec. 27 but Haitian opposition pressed President Michel Martelly to cancel it on grounds that the first round was fraudulent and biased towards the ruling party candidate.

 

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