Fraud Claims Cast Shadow Over Haiti's Election Returns

Seven presidential candidates in Haiti called Monday for an independent investigation of \"fraudulent\" initial vote results.

Published: 10th November 2015 08:19 AM  |   Last Updated: 10th November 2015 08:19 AM   |  A+A-

By AFP

PORT-AU-PRINCE: Seven presidential candidates in Haiti called Monday for an independent investigation of "fraudulent" initial vote results.

Jovenel Moise, backed by President Michel Martelly, drew 32 percent of the ballots October 25, followed by Jude Celestin, of the Lapeh party, with 25 percent, according to the official results.

The two are scheduled for a runoff December 27.

But signatories of the letter charged that the official returns were farcical, non-transparent and "totally beholden to the government in power."

Those filing the complaint asking for an independent probe included Celestin and Moise Jean-Charles, who came in third among the 54 presidential hopefuls.

The final results are scheduled to be published on November 22, but the composition of parliament will not be known until the end of the year, after voting in those constituencies hampered by violence in August elections.

Haiti suffers from chronic instability and has struggled to recover from a devastating 2010 earthquake that killed more than 250,000 people and crippled the infrastructure of a country that was already the poorest in the Americas.

Its parliament was dissolved on January 13 after lawmakers' terms were not extended, and the legislative chambers have remained empty.

The legislative elections, held on August 9 and October 25, were more than three years behind the constitutional schedule because of a crisis between the executive, led by Martelly, and the opposition.

Haiti's 5.8 million voters were tasked with choosing two thirds of their senators, or 20 posts, and all the 119 members in the Chamber of Deputies.

But no single party gained enough votes for a majority.

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