Haiti considers postponing election
Haiti may postpone the presidential runoff if the opposition will consider participating at a later date, Prime Minister Evans Paul said Wednesday. However, if no such agreement is made, the election will go forward as planned on Jan. 24.
Paul told Reuters that “negotiations were on to break an impasse, after the opposition candidate Jude Celestin earlier this week vowed to boycott the election over alleged irregularities in the first round.”
OAS concerned over political impasse
The electoral observation mission (EOM) of the Organisation of American States (OAS) in Haiti, expressed concern over the current political impasse ahead of Sunday’s second round of elections. OAS urged all political players to engage in negotiations to find a peaceful solution of the impasse. Despite several changes to the electoral process to have a transparent and fair election, the measures have not achieved the intended level of confidence to break the political gridlock.
Haitian senators approve resolution calling for suspension of election
A majority of Haitian senators approved a resolution on Wednesday calling for the suspension of the residential and legislative runoffs scheduled for this weekend. However, the move has little to no power to actually stop the election from occurring. The resolution is non-binding and can’t for the Provisional Electoral Council to halt the election.
Diaspora warns Secretary of State elections are “recipe for unrest”
More than 40 Haitian-American organizations and community leaders and 66 individual wrote a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry criticizing “the unhelpful role the State Department has been playing in Haiti’s election crisis.” They are calling for a change in U.S. policy.
“Pushing forward heedlessly with elections on January 24 will only deepen Haiti’s political crisis,” said City of North Miami Vice-Mayor Alix Desulme. “The country does not need another round of debilitating instability, it needs a legitimate government issued from fair and credible elections.”
If allowed to go forward, the the presidential runoff scheduled for Jan. 24, as demanded by the U.S., “is a recipe for further upheaval and unrest.”