Election of Jovenel Moïse Sets Off Protests in Haiti

Supporters of presidential candidate Maryse Narcisse who came in fourth in the vote tallies announced Monday night marched in protest of the election results, according to news accounts.

Haitian police are prepared for further unrest following the election results - AFP

The election of Jovenel Moïse as Haiti’s next president has sparked demonstrations in Port-au-Prince, as losing candidates in the runoff election questioned the integrity of the voting process but since Moïse won with more than 50 percent of the votes, a runoff election will not be required.

The three runners-up, Jude Celestin,Moise Jean-Charles and Ms. Narcisse, all rejected the election outcome as invalid due to discarded ballots and vowed to fight the results in court.

The result triggered protests and claims of fraud from opponents, especially as Moïse also came first in the aborted October 2015 vote, which was annulled following allegations of fraud. The U.S. Embassy reported sporadic gunfire and burning tire barricades on Tuesday and warned U.S. citizens in the country to avoid protest areas. Meanwhile, in some poorer neighborhoods of the Haitian capital, hundreds supporters of presidential candidate Maryse Narcisse—who came in fourth in the vote tallies announced Monday night—marched in protest of the election results, according to news accounts.

“The Haitian people made their choice and elected me in the first round. Now, in a spirit of gathering, I invite you, dear compatriots, to join with me on the road of endogenous development for a Haiti to the height of its historical performances and its legitimate ambitions,” Moïse said.

“My brothers and sisters, it is together that we will change Haiti, it is together that we must work to allow every Haitian to live better… I appeal to the youth of the country, to all the Haitians who live abroad, to all the professionals of the country, to engage at my side to put the country upright, because Haiti is on its knees,” he added.Mr. Moïse - Getty Images

In a statement on Tuesday, the electoral observation mission of the Organization of American States (EOM/OAS) in Haiti said the preliminary results show significant margins between the number of votes obtained by the candidates contesting the election and are in line with data collected by OAS observers at polling stations on election day.

Mr. Moïse, a businessman and plantation owner backed by Haiti’s previous presidential administration, won 595,430 votes, or 55.7% of the total, the council said late Monday. Voter turnout was less than 1.1 million, or roughly 21% of registered voters in the country. Roughly 10% of ballots were discarded because of irregularities, the counsel said.

Leave a Reply