Haitian ruling party's presidential candidate to quit electoral process

18:15, January 26, 2011      

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Haitian ruling party's presidential candidate Jude Celestin will withdraw from the electoral process, Senator Franky Exius from his Inite Party said Tuesday.

According to the Haitian daily "Le Nouvelliste", Exius requested Celestin withdraw from the second round of the electoral process and demanded Haitian President Rene Preval accept the report of the Organization of American States (OAS) which suggests Celestin withdraw.

Haiti hosted presidential and legislative elections on Nov. 28, 2010. But the outcome, which gave Celestin second place and a ticket to the second round, has been questioned by the international community and the other candidates, who have denounced it as a fraud.

Haiti's Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) recounted the votes. The results will probably be announced on Feb. 2, as Chief of the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (Minustah) Edmond Mulet announced earlier on Tuesday.

Le Nouvelliste said that the official statement of Celestin's resignation will be announced in the coming hours, and was confirmed by Exius.

Previously, Haitian Senator Joseph Lambert, coordinator of the Inite Party, told local media that "even if Celestin was declared winner of the first leg or got a ticket to the second round, we could withdraw him from the candidateship."

Lambert said his party would announce Celestin's definite position in the coming 24 or 48 hours.

Also on Tuesday, the CEP announced that the second round will be hosted on March 20, once the definite results of the first round are presented.

The first round's results announced by the CEP showed that Mirlande Manigat placed first with 31.37 percent of the votes, followed by Celestin with 22.48 percent.

However, the OAS said that Manigat got 31.6 percent, Michel Martelly 22.2 percent and Celestin 21.9 percent.

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