Haiti election postponed amid street violence

Haiti postpones presidential election for third time after opposition vows to boycott vote amid street protests

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

A man riding a bike passes next to a car that was set afire by protesters during a demonstration against the electoral process in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, January 18, 2016.

Updated Jan 23, 2016

Haiti’s electoral council on Friday said the country had postponed a presidential election that was due to be held on Sunday after opposition candidate Jude Celestin called for a boycott of the vote, which he branded a "farce."

The decision comes just one day after Haiti’s President Michel Martelly, who is constitutionally barred from seeking another term in office, rejected an opposition request to postpone Sunday’s presidential run-off and ordered police to end ongoing street protests in the country.

There were no immediate details on when the vote, which has already been postponed twice before, might be held.

After the announcement police violently dispersed a crowd outside the headquarters of the Provisional Electoral Council (CEP).

Earlier on Friday, around 1,000 protesters ran and sang in the Delmas district of the capital, Port-au-Prince, calling for the vote to be postponed.

On October 25 in the first round to choose a successor Martelly, the candidate he backed - Jovenel Moise - drew 32.8 percent of the vote against 25.3 percent for Celestin.

A runoff had been due to go ahead on December 27 but was then postponed after fraud allegations.

The country of about 10 million people has struggled to build a stable democracy since the overthrow of the 1957-1986 dictatorship of the Duvalier family and ensuing military coups and election fraud.

TRTWorld and agencies