Updated 05:54 PM EST, Tue, Nov 24, 2020

Haiti Elections Date Finally Set 

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The postponed presidential and legislative runoffs and elections in Haiti have finally been given a new date. According to Miami Herald, it is now set to take place on January 24, 2016.

Head of the Provisional Electoral Council Pierre-Louis Opont shared the date in a letter to President Michel Martelly after the nine-member council meeting was finally dismissed. Just the day before, Opont told Martelly that it was impossible to organize the elections for January 17, and so the final date could be staged to guarantee the handover of power from one president to another in time to meet the imposed deadline for February 7.

It seems that Opont has changed his mind and decided that it can be done. Top US State Department envoys Thomas Shannon and Kenneth Merten are headed to Haiti on Wednesday to meet with him, Martelly, and presidential top bets Jovenel Moïse and Jude Célestin.

The worrying electoral process, which began unraveling this week, has worried UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, who expressed concerns about the next week's planned parliament inauguration.

Ban's spokesman Stephane Dujarric said in a statement, "Parliament has not functioned since January 2015. In this regard, [the Secretary General] underlines the importance of inaugurating the new legislature within the constitutional time frame to ensure the renewal of democratic institutions and consolidate political stability in Haiti."

He also added that the Secretary-General called for the elections process to be "concluded as soon as possible in a transparent, inclusive and credible manner."

The delay in Haiti's elections came just on the heels of a report that discredit the elections council, raising questions about the integrity of the already criticized presidential and legislative vote. Celestin and Moise, who were the top candidates and were said to supposedly face each other in a run-off on December 27, postponed their event until further notice.

Presidential candidate Clestin called the first-round results a "ridiculous farce," adding via his spokesman that, "This CEP doesn't have any credibility to be making any decisions."

Jovenel Moise, Martelly's hand-picked successor, on the other hand, made rounds on the radio to outline his priorities for the country, noting that he's ready to speak with Celestin, if only to speed the process along.

Official results said that the government-backed Moise was given 32.8 percent of the votes, while former head of the state construction agency Celestin came only second, with 25 percent of the votes. The latter, however, denied losing the presidency, saying that he knows "500,000 people voted" for him.

What do you think of the messy presidential elections in Haiti?

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