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Presidential Runoff Canceled in Haiti

VoA - News
23 Jan 2016, 11 GMT+10

Haitian electoral officials have abruptly canceled the presidential runoff election scheduled for Sunday, amid concerns of violence and fraud.

Pierre-Louis Opont, chairman of the Provisional Electoral Council, said Friday the vote had been pushed back because of "security concerns." He did not name a new date for the key poll.

It is also unclear whether an interim government will take power after February 7, when President Michel Martelly is required to leave office under the constitution, or if he will remain in his post until a replacement is elected.

Opposition candidate Jude Celestin vowed this week to boycott the election, alleging a first round vote in October was rigged to favor the ruling party candidate.

Recent opposition-stoked protests in the capital Port-au-Prince have ramped up the tension, with rock-throwing partisans and burning street barricades.

There's been growing concern that a flawed runoff might push the perennially volatile country of 10 million people to the edge of tumult, rolling back a decade of relative political stability and putting the brakes on foreign investment.

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