Municipal Elections in 25 Districts in Haiti to Be Done Over

On Thursday, August 20, the Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) has announced that the voters from 25 districts in Haiti, who could not complete their voting peacefully on August 9, will have another chance to recast their votes to elect their lawmakers. The CEP has decided to hold this first round of legislative elections along with the second round of voting on October 25, 2015.


On August 9, three voting centers in the capital city and numerous polling places in other sections of the country were closed because men armed with rocks and bottles attacked polling stations and several gangs overran a number of voting centers in Port-au-Prince and other areas, forcing election officials to halt balloting. Two people were killed in violence; the percentage of polling was reported to be less than the expectation, a meager 18%, and just three deputies of 119 were chosen as per CEP report. In the country's largest department (Ouest) where the capital is located, the overall percentage of polling was below 10%. Sixteen candidates have been disqualified for their alleged involvement in the August 9 crimes and violence. There will be a re-election in 25 polling stations out of a total 1,508 - that saw massive irregularities and low turnout. Nowhere in the country did the voter turnout exceed 50%. The CEP could not reveal the names of the successful candidates, because, the winners' names were not available on the website as it went down immediately following CEP's announcement. As per new report dated August 21, no senator was elected in the first round for deputies.

It seemed that the Provisional Electoral Council (CEP), led by its President Pierre-Louis Opont, was desperate to complete this first phase of electoral operation. The voting bureaus and centers were poorly marked, oppositions or observers were not given proper access to the polling centers, there was no checking on the authenticity of the badges worn by the international observers, security was poor, the police were passive and sometime accomplice in violence-- there was no visible proof of an ideal election environment.

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