Haiti observers want ruling party candidate out, media report says
A draft report by the observers of the Organisation of American States says Haitian President Réné Préval’s chosen candidate Jude Célestin did not gather enough votes to go through to the second round of voting, wire service AP reports.
International observers belonging to the OAS say that the disputed first round of presidential elections should not be thrown out but that there was enough fraudulent ballots to drop Célestin to third place.
Early results of the 28 November vote produced no clear winner. Mirlande Manigat, a former first lady, arrived in first place and the ruling party candidate Celestin landed the second place.
However, according to the OAS, the third-placed candidate, a popular singer called Michel Martelly should go through to the second round of elections instead of Célestin.
According to Associated Press, Préval’s office has yet to receive the OAS report and has so far declined to grant the organisation’s observation team an appointment to hand over the report which has not yet been made public.
The recommendations of the OAS are set to increase tensions in impoverished island of Haiti on the eve of the anniversary of the 12 January earthquake that devastated Haiti.
Former US President Bill Clinton, who is helping to coordinate relief efforts, was to arrive in Haiti on Tuesday to take part in commemorations, in memory in the 220,000 people who died in the quake last year.
Haiti has yet to recover from the disaster, which have left thousands homeless and the country struggling with a cholera epidemic. On Tuesday, the World Health Organisation warned that the cholera outbreak, which has killed over 3,000 people has not yet peaked.