Outgoing Assistant Secretary General of the Organisation of American States (OAS), Albert Ramdin says he has been assured by Haitian authorities that elections will be held in the French-speaking Caribbean Community (CARICOM) country as schedule. Ramdin, who visited Port au Prince last week, said the three rounds of elections will begin on August 9 for a new parliament with more than 2,000 candidates. “The issue with the candidates who are not approved to take part in the presidential elections that is a domestic issue that is on the basis on rules and regulations which Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) has insisted on and we have no say in that,” he told the Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC). Among those barred from the polls is former prime minister Laurent Lamothe, who had hoped to succeed President Michel Martelly.
Lawyers for the CEP said that Lamothe lacked the required “discharge,” a routine investigation of government ministers into their use of public funds.
The first round of the presidential election is October 25. If no candidate wins outright there will be a runoff December 27.
Of 70 candidates who registered to run, 23 were challenged on legal grounds by a board of lawyers for the CEP. Among those allowed to proceed were Thierry Mayard-Paul, a former interior minister and adviser to Martelly, Mario Andersol, the former chief of Haitian police, and Duly Brutus, Martelly’s foreign affairs minister.