Haiti runoff candidate calls election results a 'farce'

Jude Celestin says first-round results in presidential polls a "ridiculous farce" as opposition protests grow.

    Haiti runoff candidate calls election results a 'farce'
    Elections in October were the latest attempt in Haiti to shed chronic political instability [Andres Martinez Casares/Reuters]

    One of the candidates in Haiti's presidential run-off has called the first-round results of the October 25 elections a farce, amid growing opposition protests in the impoverished Caribbean country.

    Jude Celestin of the Lapeh party garnered 25 percent of the vote, according to results announced on Thursday.

    He faces ruling party candidate Jovenel Moise, the front-runner at 32 percent in a December 27 run-off.

    The results are a "ridiculous farce," the 53-year-old Celestin said at a news conference on Friday.

    "The results of the people have yet to be announced."

    RELATED: Some hope for Haiti

    Speaking of the current government of President Michel Martelly, he added: "They have put in place a repressive force to crush the people, to kill the people, but they won't be able to kill all the people."

    Haiti polls give voters hope after years of dysfunction
    Celestin's comments - met with applause from supporters - came as opposition protests grew. In some spots in the capital, tires were set ablaze.

    "They don't respect young people. They think they can do whatever they want with us," protester Metelus Lafontant told the AFP news agency.

    "If they don't want to change their results, they'll have to kill all Haitians because it's not how we voted," added the student.

    "If they don't change, we'll take the streets and the country will never have stability."

    Chronic political instability

    The UN and the "Core Group" of countries comprising the ambassadors of Brazil, Canada, France, Spain, the US and the European Union "deplored isolated incidents of violence and vandalism".

    In a statement issued late on Friday, the diplomats "urged the Haitian authorities to arrest and try those responsible, in full compliance with the law".

    The Organization of American States announced it was sending an observer mission for the run-off.

    The October 25 election was the latest attempt in the Americas' poorest country to shed chronic political instability and work towards development.



    How different voting systems work around the world

    How different voting systems work around the world

    Nearly two billion voters in 52 countries around the world will head to the polls this year to elect their leaders.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    The great plunder: Nepal's stolen treasures

    The great plunder: Nepal's stolen treasures

    How the art world's hunger for ancient artefacts is destroying a centuries-old culture. A journey across the Himalayas.