By Senabri Silvestre
SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic (AA) – The European Union on Wednesday withdrew its electoral observation mission in Haiti -- two days after the country’s electoral board announced a rerun of presidential election following the uncovering of widespread fraud.
“After consulting with the EU observer-chief Elena Valenciano, I decided to end this mission,” EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said in a statement.
She said conditions have not been met for the EU to be able to continue with its activities in the poorest country in the Western hemisphere.
Following elections last October, the EU said the vote was “well organized and developed in a climate of remarkable serenity."
But the new process and procedures go against the findings of the EU mission deployed at the invitation of Haitian authorities in July 2015, according Mogherini.
The new timetable presented by the Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) will begin with a ballot Oct. 9. If none of the 54 candidates receive a majority of votes, a second round of voting will take place Jan. 8, 2017.
Mogherini said the EU remains committed to continue its support of the development of Haiti and to the democratic renewal process in accordance with the Constitution and its citizens´ interests.
Fraud allegations, social unrest and violence have forced Haiti to postponed run-off election three times that were originally scheduled for Dec. 27, 2015.
Former President Michel Martelly left office in February without a successor but signed an agreement with leading lawmakers by which Jocelerme Privert was named interim head of state.