Haiti electoral officials delay publishing results

Election poster outside the earthquake-damaged presidential palace (5 April 2011) A number of candidates won seats when they had not been leading in preliminary counts

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Haiti electoral officials have delayed the certification of results from last month's run-off legislative polls.

The Provisional Electoral Council said it would not publish 19 seats' results "out of concern for transparency", but did not say if there would be recount.

The move comes after the international community raised concerns over fraud.

The United Nations questioned why the results in several constituencies had been overturned, mostly in favour of President Rene Preval's Unity Party.

The results gave the Unity Party 46 of the 99 seats in the Chamber of Deputies and an absolute majority in the Senate with 17 of 30 seats.

'Nation's best interests'

But on Monday, the head of the Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) announced that it would delay publishing the results of 19 legislative races.

Gaillot Dorsinvil said in a statement that the decision was "for the sake of transparency and in the best interests of the nation".

Mr Dorsinvil did not say if the CEP planned to order recounts, or give any details about the 19th seat - one more than diplomats had questioned.

Michel Martelly (21 April 2011) Michel Martelly's party has won only a handful of seats in the incoming legislature

On Friday, the US embassy asked why one winning candidate from the incumbent party in one constituency had gone "from 90,000 in the preliminary results to more than 145,000 in the final results".

"The Haitian people, who have participated with great patience in the two rounds of elections, deserve nothing less," a statement said.

President-elect Michel Martelly also urged the international community not to recognise the results of the legislative elections, saying they were "unacceptable and do not reflect the will of the people".

Mr Martelly, a popular Haitian singer, won the presidency in a run-off election, with over two-thirds of the vote. But his party has won only a handful of seats in the incoming legislature.

There have also been sporadic protests about the results. On Monday, demonstrators reportedly set up barricades in parts of the capital, Port-au-Prince.

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