Haiti’s Provisional Electoral Council on Monday postponed until January this Sunday’s scheduled presidential run-off election amid accusations by the opposition candidate of fraud and irregularities. “The Provisional Electoral Council informs the general public, political parties and candidates in particular, that the elections of local authorities as well as the partial legislative and presidential elections that were to be held December 27, 2015 are postponed,” the council said in a statement. Ruling party candidate Jovenel Moïse and former government executive Jude Célestin were due to face each other on Sunday. Instead, the vote will take place in January, possibly on Jan. 10, two of the council members said.
“We are technically ready for the election but the election has been postponed because there is a commission assessing the process,” Pierre Manigat Jr, vice president of the electoral council, said. “This commission will make recommendations to the electoral council. We could not go on organising the election without waiting for the recommendations of the commission.”
The winner will succeed President Michel Martelly in February as the head of Haiti, the Western Hemisphere’s poorest country.
If the postponed election goes well, it will mark the first time in Haiti’s rocky political history that three democratic elections have been held in succession without interruption by fraud or armed rebellion.