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Election Council reduced to five after four withdraw

Staff Writer

Haiti Sentinel

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti ( – In less than two weeks, the Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) of Pierre Louis Opont finds itself operating with only five of its nine members following resignations and withdrawals of four electoral councilors.

The latest came in a letter to President Michel Martelly on Friday, January 15, 2016. Vijonet Demero announced his resignation as a member of the CEP. The representative of the Protestant Federation of Haiti (FPH) said he was resigning “for reasons beyond his control.”
Minister Demero was under pressure by church pastors and many sectors of society to resign from the electoral council after allegations that he had taken money from legislative candidates had surfaced.

Vijoney Demero’s resignation comes after the resignation of Ricardo Augustin, the representative of the Catholic Church in the electoral council.

Two other councilors, Jacceus Joseph and Yolette Mengual, have not formally resigned but announced that they are no longer participating in activities of the CEP.

Most all of Haitian society is calling for the resignation of the entire CEP and for the installation of a provisional government in order to organize free and fair elections in Haiti.

Under the totalitarian regime of Michel Martelly, the first round of elections, August 9, 2015, were marred by widespread violence, voter intimidation and ballot box stuffing. Although the ruling party, PHTK and its ally parties, were cited as most responsible for the acts of violence, the CEP took no action and those parties won the most seats.

The second round of elections were subject to a massive and wide-ranging electoral fraud operation that resulted in 92% of the tally sheets being found with “serious irregularities”.

The electoral process is currently on hold although the CEP has announced it would organize elections on January 24, 2016. The overwhelming majority of Haitians believe an provisional government is needed in order to ensure a fair, inclusive and free electoral process.

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