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Court Orders Review of Haiti’s Preliminary Election Results

Haitian President-elect Jovenel Moïse (

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2016 – Even with what is regarded as an outright victory in last month’s presidential election, Jovenel Moïse is facing a tough time.

Three opposition parties have successfully in challenged the Nov. 20 election results, which saw the banana exporter take 55.67 percent of the vote, and the country’s electoral court has ordered a review. Moïse was handpicked by former president Michel Martelly to represent his party.

The three main opposition candidates — Jude Celestin, who won 19.52 percent of the vote; Jean-Charles Moïse, who got 11.04 percent; and Maryse Narcisse who managed only 8.99 per cent — challenged the tally.

Judges for the National Bureau of Electoral Litigation said they considered it “necessary to shine a light to establish the truth” and therefore ordered the ballots to be “transported to the tabulation center for the verification of 12 percent of the results.”

The decision followed lengthy arguments by lawyers for the opposition candidates and more than five hours of deliberation by the judges.

With Moïse’s seemingly decisive win, it had been expected that a planned January runoff would be avoided. But no final decision can be made until the court-ordered review has been completed.

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