Haiti presidential runoff vote Jan. 24

PORT AU PRINCE, Haiti – Following a working meeting with President Michel Martelly, Haiti’s Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) has confirmed in a letter signed by its president, Pierre-Louis Opont “that it is able to guarantee the organization of the second round of presidential and that of the partial legislative and local elections on Sunday, Jan. 24, 2016.”
Twenty-four hours earlier, Opont had informed Martelly that it was impossible to organize the elections for Jan. 17 – the final date, he said, voting could be staged to guarantee the handover of power from one elected president to another in time to meet the constitutionally mandated Feb. 7 deadline.
The CEP has now agreed to respect both constitutional dates, namely, Jan. 11 for the return of Parliament and Feb. 7 for the inauguration of the elected president.
Meanwhile, for the second time in two weeks, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon again voiced concern over the ongoing electoral process in Haiti, urging the authorities and all political actors to resolve outstanding issues as soon as possible.
Jovenel Moise from the governing party and former government executive Jude Celestin, the two top vote getters in the first round of presidential elections on Oct. 25, were set to face each other in a run-off on Dec. 27 but that was postponed until further notice.
Ban’s special representative in Haiti, Sandra Honoré, and the so-called Core Group – Brazil, Canada, France, Spain, the U.S., the European Union as well as the Organization of American States – called on state institutions and political actors to ensure a peaceful transfer of power by the constitutionally mandated date of Feb. 7.
Ban reaffirmed the commitment of the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) and the entire UN system to continue supporting the Haitian people in the fulfilment of their democratic aspirations.