PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (sentinel.ht) – The electoral council announced that the scheduled October 9 elections would be postponed in the face of difficulties induced by the Category 4 Hurricane, Matthew.
The president of the Provisional Electoral Council (CEP), Leopold Berlanger, made the announcement on Wednesday and did not have a date for when the contests could be held. The electoral council should be able to announce in a week, Wednesday, October 12, the new date for elections.
The CEP president said that meanwhile, the evaluation process of the post-hurricane situation will continue this week and the CEP will remain in contact with the government and its domestic and foreign partners.
The decision to postpone indefinitely the elections of October 9 were imposed by the damage caused by the passage of Hurricane Matthew on the country, Mr. Berlanger said.
He stressed that the hurricane has seriously disrupted preparations, including the deployment of polling center staff and officers of the national police that would have provided security during the elections.
There are also the members of the temporary staff, the MBVs (member of polling stations), ASE (electoral security agents) and supervisors, said Leopold Berlanger, who have alerted us that they have had to relocated during the passage of the hurricane.
Several areas that should host polling centers, including schools, were affected by the passage of Matthew, said Berlanger. He said these events pushed the indefinite postponement of the vote, without being able to tell if the deadline of February 7, when the elected president should be sworn in, will be respected.
As for campaigning, which was scheduled to end Friday, October 7, this date is maintained until further notice, said Leopold Berlanger.
However, several sectors felt that the CEP should not wait for 8 long days to announce the new date. Which could cause the statements and reactions of all kinds
“If the candidates were prepared for 9 October, they should be for any other date, they argue, advising that the CEP should avoid causing a disconnect between 7 October and the election date.
Asked shortly before the announcement of the CEP, Fanmi Lavalas candidate of Dr. Maryse Narcisse said that it is the CEP which has the monopoly of the organization of elections, but that any delay can only give his organization more time to prepare, has she said, her landslide victory.