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  HOME | Caribbean

Haiti Accord Schedules Presidential Runoff Election for April 24

PORT-AU-PRINCE – The accord signed Saturday by Haiti’s executive and legislative branches as a way out of the current electoral crisis calls for a transition government that will be in power for 120 days, during which time it will organize the presidential runoff election for next April 24.

The candidate who wins the presidency in the April runoff will be sworn into office next May 14, according to the accord signed Saturday by the nation’s current president, Michel Martelly, whose term in office ends Sunday, together with the leader of the Chamber of Deputies, Cholzer Chancy, and of the Senate, Jocelerme Privert.

The accord calls for the bicameral National Assembly to elect the interim president “in the coming days.”

Martelly had suggested Friday that the head of state position be exercised temporarily by Senate speaker Jocelerme Privert, or by the chief justice of the Supreme Court, Jules Cantave, until the electoral crisis is resolved.

In a statement, the Haitian president said a transition government is being discussed, and in his opinion, the ministers of his Cabinet should maintain their current positions.

Haiti planned to hold the presidential runoff election last Jan. 24, but it was postponed two days before that by the Provisional Electoral Council, or CEP, due to the situation of violence the country was going through and which has left at least four people dead.

As part of the accord to find a solution to the electoral crisis, politicians may present themselves before the National Assembly as candidates for the temporary presidency.

In the first electoral round, held last Oct. 25, the candidates that won the most votes were the leader of the ruling Haitian Tet Kale Party (PHTK), Jovenel Moise, and the head of the Alternative League for Haitian Progress and Emancipation (LAPEH), Jude Celestin.

The latter refused to take part in the runoff because of alleged “serious irregularities” in the process.

After learning of the accord signed on Saturday, the Organization of American States, or OAS, said that it considers its mission of mediation in the matter closed.

 

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