The votes are counted, but it is far from over

Although the results of Haiti’s first round presidential election have been released, the elections are far from over. One week ago today, the Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) announced preliminary results from the first round of elections. With low voter turnout and many reports of fraud, many are questioning the legitimacy of the results. Several candidates are also joining forces to contest the results in court.

For now, the top two candidates, one from the ruling party of President Martelly, PHTK, and another from LAPEH will likely face each other in a run-off election at the end of December.

There is a lot of speculation about who actually voted for these candidates, as the political party monitors were given many more passes than in the first round of legislative elections, and are able to vote in whatever precinct where they are present. Colleagues at the Center for Economic and Policy Research write:

“International and local observers have estimated turnout at between 25 and 30 percent, meaning there were roughly 1.6 million voters. With over 900,000 accreditation passes for monitors, and thousands more for observation groups (whose members are subject to the same open voting rules), it means over 50 percent of votes could come from these groups.”

For any democracy, this is a concerning number. In a country where the many are ignored by the ruling class, this is a blow to any hope of representative government in the near future.

To keep up with elections results and the situation evolving daily, we recommend these sites:

http://haitielection2015.blogspot.com/

http://www.cepr.net/blogs/haiti-relief-and-reconstruction-watch/

[Featured photo from Flickr. Some rights reserved]

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