Haiti puts off announcement of election results
Authorities in Haiti have delayed the announcement of the results of the country’s recent presidential election, amid allegations of vote irregularities.
The provisional electoral council said in a statement that the results will not be announced on Tuesday as planned and that the announcement was postponed to Thursday.
The delay comes as an avalanche of accusations and rumors about the vote has emerged. At the center are allegations that nearly one million accreditation cards that were distributed ahead of last month’s election in the hope of diminishing fraud, had been sold on the black market.
There were also reports of people voting multiple times and ballot-box stuffing during the October 25 election.
Some 800 workers and 28 lawyers have been reviewing tally sheets from the 13,275 polling stations from around the country, according to local media.
A possible presidential runoff is expected on December 27, as the people of Haiti had a list of 54 presidential candidates to choose from.
The recent poll is the second election in a country that has failed to find political stability since the end of a 30-year dictatorship in 1986.
Current President Michel Martelly assumed office in 2011; the year after a deadly earthquake killed more than 200,000 people and flattened most buildings in the capital, leaving hundreds of thousands on the streets.
More than 85,000 people still live in makeshift camps five years after the catastrophe, according to the UK-based Amnesty International rights group.
The next president of Haiti is expected to face huge challenges and a humanitarian emergency, as six million of the country’s 10 million people live in extreme poverty, living on less than $2.50 a day.