OAS experts challenge Haiti election result: Report

Outgoing Haitian President indicated that he had not seen the OAS report.

Last Updated: Jan 11, 2011, 10:35 AM IST

Port-au-Prince: A leaked report on Haiti`s disputed November 28 elections by Organisation of American States experts recommends that a government-backed presidential candidate be eliminated from a second-round run-off, a US media report said on Monday.

A news agency, which said it had obtained a copy of the OAS team`s draft report, cited the document as challenging the preliminary election results released on December 07 by Haiti`s Provisional Electoral Council (CEP), which had put government technocrat Jude Celestin in the second round.

The Provisional Electoral Council said it had not yet received the final report by the OAS experts who have worked since late last month to verify the contested results from the chaotic presidential and legislative polls.

At a news conference with Haitian journalists late on Monday, outgoing President Rene Preval also indicated that he had not seen the report.

"I have nothing to say about the (OAS) recommendations because I have not read them," Preval said. "I don`t have them in my hands."

The leaked report`s recommendation seemed likely to roil the edgy political climate in Haiti just days before the country and the international community commemorate the first anniversary of the January 12 quake.

The preliminary December 07 results triggered several days of street riots and protests, mostly by supporters of third-place candidate and popular musician Michel Martelly who was edged out of the second round by Celestin. Both finished behind opposition matriarch Mirlande Manigat, who received the most votes in the first round, but not enough for an outright win.

"The Provisional Electoral Council does not have the OAS report," CEP Director-General Pierre-Louis Opont said.

OAS officials in Haiti said they were still working on the final version of the report on the election results to be delivered to the CEP and Preval.

Bureau Report