By Vania Andre

President Michel Martelly-backed Jovenel Moise  took the lead with 32 percent of the vote, followed by Jude Celestin with 25 percent, and Moise Jean Charles with 14 percent.

Of a little more than 13,000 ballots received at the Voters Tabulation Center, nearly 500 ballot sheets were removed because of electoral irregularities, while another 296 ballots never arrived to the center.  The results were initially to be announced earlier this week, however, after several complaints were filed over allegations of voter fraud, the preliminary results were pushed back to Thursday.

A special commission was created by Haiti’s Provisional Electoral Council to document and investigate the complaints. Of 162 submitted complaints, 116 were thrown out, and only one was in reference to the presidential elections. The others had to do with complaints of electoral fraud on the legislative and mayoral level.

Candidates have 72 hours to contest the results. Former senator Moise Jean Charles, who placed third, is the first to denounce the results. “We are going to reclaim the vote of the people,” he posted on Twitter. “We’re standing to defend all classes.”

Final results are expected to be announced at the end of November. The presidential runoff will take place Dec. 27.



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