A presidential run-off election in Haiti scheduled for next Sunday has been postponed pending an investigation into accusations of fraud and irregularities. The opposition says the review is biased.
A presidential run-off election in Haiti scheduled for next Sunday has been postponed pending an investigation intoaccusations of fraud and irregularities.
Haiti's Provisional Electoral Council pushed back the date of the December 27 election so that a special commission could assess the electoral process.
The allegations have led to a political impasse and protests.
The run-off was to pit Jovenel Moise from the ruling Haitian Party of Bald Heads against the opposition Alternative League for Progress and Emancipation of Haiti's Jude Celestin, the second-highest vote winner in October's first round election.
The council did not say when the run-off election would be held.
Thepoorest country in the Americas,
Haiti has been battered by political instability, coups, and electoral fraud over the decades. If successful, the election would be the third consecutivedemocratic election in the country's history.
Current President Martin Martelly, who is barred from running for a second term under the constitution, announced last week that a commission would evaluate the electoral process and make recommendations to the electoral council following opposition accusations of fraud.
However, the commission has not yet begun its work amid claims from the opposition that it has been stacked with ruling party loyalists and would be no more than a "cosmetic solution."
The electoral council said it could not move ahead with the election until it had received recommendations from the special commission.
Since the October elections an alliance of opposition groups has demanded an independent review of the results.
The final results of the Provisional Electoral Council showed Moise received nearly 33 percent of the vote compared to 25 percent for Celestin, who was disqualified from second round voting in the 2010 election following an recount by the Organization of American States.
Martelly is required to step down by February 7.
Some unfilled senate and lower house seats as well as municipal office positions are also up for grabs in the election.
cw/rc (AFP, AP, dpa, Reuters)