The chairman of Haiti’s electoral council has submitted his resignation to President Michel Martelly, a week after presidential and legislative elections were indefinitely delayed. Pierre-Louis Opont said in a letter dated Thursday that events beyond his control had “prevented me from carrying out my mission, which was to conduct elections meant to permit Parliament to return on January 11, 2016 and an elected president to be installed on February 7, 2016.” Opont’s resignation, following that of four of nine other members of the Provisional Electoral Council (CEP), renders the panel impotent.
More than a dozen electoral offices in the Haitian provinces were torched or attacked late Thursday or early Friday.
On January 22, less than 48 hours before polling places were set to open for a second round of presidential and partial legislative elections, the head of the CEP had announced their indefinite postponement, citing “obvious security concerns.”
That delay prevented the CEP from pursuing an electoral process already deeply decried by the opposition and civil society groups.