Haitian Americans to Kerry: Stop opposing Haiti elections recount

Sixty Haitian-American leaders and diaspora organizations are calling on the Obama administration to end its staunch opposition to a recount in Haiti’s disputed presidential elections, charging that it is undermining democracy in the Caribbean nation, the Miami Herald reported.

The letter, addressed to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Thursday, comes a day after provisional President Jocelerme Privert announced that he will soon form an independent verification commission to look into allegations of ballot tampering and multiple vote-buying in the Oct. 25 presidential first round. Privert said the commission is “indispensable” to political stability and putting confidence back in the interrupted electoral process.

The diaspora community is calling for the administration to support such a commission in hopes of salvaging the country’s electoral process. Haiti has been in a paralyzing political and electoral crisis since its presidential elections. Official results pit former president Michel Martelly’s hand-picked successor, Jovenel Moïse, against opposition candidate Jude Célestin. Moise garnered 32.76 percent of the votes, while Célestin had 25.29 percent.

New vote postponement prolongs Haiti political crisis

Haiti’s runoff presidential election, which has been postponed multiple times amid a paralyzing electoral crisis, will not be held at the end of the month as previously scheduled, its election authority announced, TeleSUR reported.

“We cannot talk about the electoral calendar in the state that we’re in,” Leopold Berlanger, president of Haiti’s Provisional Electoral Council (CEP), said Tuesday during a press conference at its headquarters in Port-au-Prince.

The runoff elections, which were originally scheduled for December 27, were postponed to January before being rescheduled for April 24.

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