Haiti’s runoff presidential election will take place on Jan. 24, even though the opposition candidate insists he will boycott the vote because of his lack of faith in the process, the president of the Caribbean nation’s electoral council said on Sunday. Pierre-Louis Opont said the electoral council was busy preparing the runoff contest between ruling party candidate Jovenel Moise and opposition challenger Jude Celestin, who stated on Thursday that he would not take part. “I can confirm that as I talk to you today we have two candidates in the race and their names are Jovenel Moise and Jude Celestin,” Opont told Reuters in an interview. “Their names are already on the ballot and the election will take place as scheduled,” Opont said. He said the deadline for a candidate to withdraw had already passed.
Foreign donor nations have supported the election despite opposition complaints of fraud in the previous round of voting, in October. Some observers fear a crisis if a new president is not elected by a February deadline.
On Thursday, Celestin vowed to write to the election council to officially register his withdrawal, but as of Sunday evening, Opont said he had not received any such notification.