Jude Celestin refuses to participate in runoffs

Haiti presidential candidate Jude Celestin will not be taking part in the runoff set to take place on Jan. 24, he said Thursday.

“The 24th is out of the question,” Célestin told the Miami Herald on Thursday. “[President Michel] Martelly will have to do an election with just one candidate.”

According to Celestin, the government and the Provisional Electoral Council are not taking any steps to improve transparency in the final round.

“The commission issued a report on the irregularities and fraud in the election,” he said. “It asked for among other things, a political dialogue. We don’t see that happening, or any of the other recommendations that the commission asked for. I also asked for a list of conditions and so far, nothing.”

Jan. 24 runoff date step in right direction, OAS says

The announcement of the Jan. 24 runoff election is a “step in the right direction,” the Electoral Observation Mission of the Organization of American States (EOM/OAS) said. OAS urged the Provisional Electoral Council to adopt the recommendations made by the Independent Electoral Evaluation Commission to allow for a “strengthened and truly competitive electoral process.”
CEP official resigns
Ricardo Augustine, a representative of the Catholic Church on the Provisional Electoral Council (CEP), announced his resignation this week. Augustine sent a letter to President Michel Martelly on Wednesday stating his decision.
Ministry of Public Health issues warning against Zika virus
Following an alert about the Zika virus in the Americas, the Ministry of Public Health in Haiti implemented a warning system to detect potential cases of the virus. Symptoms of the virus include fever, joint paint and a rash, all which usually appear three days to a week after a person is bitten by an infected mosquito. There have been no reported cases in Haiti as of yet.

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