Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

Postponement is the best bet for fair Haiti elections

Haiti’s government seems poised to proceed with the final round of elections on January 24, despite clear widespread opposition and the street violence that is likely to ensue. This editorial from Miami Herald clearly outlines why it is crucial to postpone the elections now to make sure that a fair and democratic process results, even if Haiti needs a transitional government in the meantime.

Part of the editorial is below. Click HERE for the full text.

Postpone election; Haiti is not ready

Editorial, Miami Herald
January 21, 2016

An electoral worker holds up a presidential ballot during October elections in Port-au-Prince. A runoff is scheduled for Sunday.

It has become painfully clear this week that ignoring calls to postpone Sunday’s presidential elections in Haiti will incite street violence. It is also apparent, regrettably, that going ahead with elections now will fail to produce a government that Haitians deem credible and legitimate.

Presidential candidates who took part in the first round of the presidential election last fall oppose the timing of Sunday’s election — except for government-backed candidate Jovenel Moïse. That includes Jude Célestin, the runner-up for president who is on the ballot in the Sunday vote along with Mr. Moïse. Mr. Célestin and the opposition bloc known as the G8 are boycotting the vote.

That alone puts its legitimacy in doubt, but others have joined in the call, including some observer missions and groups like the Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Haiti. And on Wednesday, members of the incomplete Haitian Senate voted 15-0, with five abstentions, in favor of setting aside the elections for a few weeks until troubling questions about the fairness of the upcoming vote can be resolved.

Click HERE for the full text.

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