Port au Prince (Agenzia Fides) - Haitian President Michel Martelly, confirmed yesterday, January 21, that the presidential runoff will however be held next Sunday, January 24, despite protests from the opposition. Martelly reaffirmed his commitment to organize elections and explained that it is just a group of people trying to "destroy the democratic process" and informed that he has mobilized the National Police to ensure the participation of citizens in the runoff.
The President's statements came after the announcement of the opposition, led by presidential candidate Jude Célestin, who called for a series of protests organized for today, Friday, January 22. Celestin, representative of the party that currently governs Haiti, announced that he will not participate in the elections, claiming fraud already in the first round, last October (see Fides 23/12/2015; 28/12/2015).
The Episcopal Conference of Haiti has taken note of the decision of the executive and of the Provisional Electoral Commission (CEP) to go to elections under the current conditions. In a statement released yesterday, the Bishops argue, however, that the recommendations of the Electoral Commission were not clearly followed.
"The obstinacy of some to carry out elections on January 24, 2016 and some who do want to find a favorable solution for the country, will only worsen the long-term election crisis", said the statement of the Bishops sent to Fides.
The Bishops' Conference has appealed to the Government, the Electoral Commission and other actors involved in the elections, to exercise wisdom, intuition and the ability to dialogue in order to find an acceptable and sustainable solution for the people of Haiti as soon as possible. (CE) (Agenzia Fides 22/01/2016)