Preval Agrees Not to Release Haiti Vote Count: OAS

By Dialogo
December 21, 2010

Haitian President Rene Preval has agreed not to release final results of the impoverished country’s disputed elections until consultation from regional grouping the OAS, an official told AFP.

OAS Secretary General Jose Miguel Insulza “spoke with President Preval on 20 December and requested a delay of the announcement of the final results of the elections,” the assistant secretary general Albert Ramdin told AFP.

After the call from the Organization of American States (OAS), Preval “agreed that he would ask the (previsional election council) not to announce any results for now, until the OAS can help with the clarification process,” Ramdin said.

The Haiti electoral commission has said it will review the results of the presidential elections released earlier this month after Preval’s handpicked candidate Jude Celestin defied predictions to win a place in a run-off vote.

“We will see if everybody agrees on these terms of reference, then start the process of clarification and recount,” Ramdin said.

It was also important to not “only focus on the electoral aspect but also on creating momentum for political acceptance of the final outcome of the clarification process,” he added.

The electoral commission plans a recount of tally sheets in the presence of the three main candidates, although popular singer Michel Martelly — ousted in the first round — and Mirlande Manigat — a former first lady who topped the poll — have refused to take part.

Manigat meanwhile said on 17 December that she welcomed a second round in the poll but not with three or more candidates, a possibility that was raised earlier this week by French Foreign Minister Michele Alliot-Marie.