ADDS UN REACTION
By Senabri Silvestre
SANTO DOMINGO, Dom. Rep. (AA) - Haiti’s electoral commission said Monday that a rerun of presidential elections will be held Oct. 9.
If no candidate receives a majority of votes, a second round of voting will take place Jan. 8, 2017, according to a new electoral timetable published by the Provisional Electoral Council (CEP).
The electoral board welcomed findings last week of an independent investigation that recommend the results of elections last October be disqualified after uncovering widespread fraud.
The electoral commission will also conduct the second round of legislative complementary elections and a vote for the Upper House of Congress.
But a special representative of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and members of the Core Group -- Brazil, Canada, EU, France, Spain, U.S, and a special envoy of the Organization of American States regional bloc -- expressed concerns about the decision, alleging that it will have financial consequence and prolong the electoral process that began in 2015.
“Haiti urgently needs to have elected representatives at all levels” the Core Group said in statement the Core group.
They encouraged all parties to respect the electoral calendar in order to organize transparent and equitable elections in an impartial manner.
A total of 54 candidates ran during the canceled elections but they will have until June 23 to reconfirm their participation in the upcoming vote.
“New registrations will not be allowed to participate in the upcoming ballot”, CEP chief Leopold Berlanger said during a press conference.
Preliminary results of the presidential elections are scheduled by Oct. 20. If a second round is necessary, results will be announced Jan 14.
The entire process should be completed and a new president sworn in by April 2017.
Haiti has postponed run-off elections three times that were originally scheduled for Dec. 27, 2015 due to allegations of fraud that have caused social unrest and violence across the country.
Jovenel Moïse of the Haitian Tet Kale Party lead all votes during the first round of voting.
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.