Haiti annuls presidential poll result, sets new election date

Haiti Privert

Haiti Privert

Haitians will head to the polls on October 9 to vote for a new president, officials confirmed on Monday, after the results of last year’s controversial election were formally annulled.

“The Council has decided to repeat the first round of the presidential election,” the president of the Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) Leopold Berlanger told reporters, confirming an announcement by interim president Jocelerme Privert over the weekend.

A second round vote will be held on January 8.

The decision to cancel the results followed last week’s recommendation by an independent commission that found that fraud had marred the October 2015 vote.

The opposition condemned that vote as an “electoral coup” in favor of former president Michel Martelly.

The international community, however, voiced reservations.

UN special envoy Sandra Honore and the so-called Core Group of Western countries and organizations backing Haiti’s government voiced concern that the original timetable had not been respected.

“The ‘Core Group’ remains deeply concerned that the decision to rerun the presidential elections will have financial consequences and prolong the electoral process started in 2015,” it said in a statement.

“To this end, the ‘Core Group’ calls on all Haitian authorities responsible for the organization of the elections, in particular the CEP and the government, as well as the political and socio-economic actors, to work toward the completion of the electoral process begun in 2015, in accordance with the deadlines and modalities announced.”

The group includes the ambassadors of Brazil, Canada, France, Spain, the United States, the European Union and the special representative of the Organization of American States.