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Haiti makes third runoff attempt to decide presidency

April 24, 2016 - HAITI

For a third time the Caribbean country attempts to hold a run-off presidential and partial legislative election. Contested results and turmoil forced the cancellation of voting on Dec 27 and Jan 24. Opposition protests and a boycott by Jude Celestin, who had been set to square off against Jovenel Moise, then president Michel Martelly's handpicked successor, doomed both polls.

The results of the first presidential round on Oct 25 were disputed. Martelly stepped down on Feb 7 without a successor.

Interim-president Jocelerme Privert and interim-prime Minister Fritz-Alphonse Jean now lead a 120-day provisional government and must organise the new vote just as Haiti, one of the world's poorest countries, faces its worst food and drought crisis in 15 years.

Opposition parties allege that the October ballot, when 54 candidates ran for president, was marred by fraud in favour of Moise. The allegations fed the ongoing street violence.

Martelly, who has ruled by decree since Jan 2015, was barred from seeking adjoining terms.

Haiti presidential election run-off delayed (BBC 22 Dec 2015)

Haiti Postpones Presidential Runoff as Violence Rises (NYT 22 Jan 2016)

Jocelerme Privert is Haiti's new provisional president (Miami Herald 14 Feb 2016)

Haiti names ex-Central Bank head as prime minister (AFP/Yahoo 26 Feb 2016)

Date written/update: 2016-03-03