Haiti presidential vote postponed amid fraud allegations

Opposition questions how businessman recruited by president received most votes

By Glenna Milberg - Reporter

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti - A new Haitian president should have been picked Sunday but the vote has been postponed until Jan. 10 amid allegations of fraud.

Volcy Assad speaks for the so-called G8 -- a group of Haiti's presidential candidates who did not make the run-off elections and who are refusing to meet with the commission looking into allegations of fraud and ballot stuffing in the October election.

"We're waiting for them to put together the independent commission so we can be sure the result is the truth," Assad said.

The G8 won't believe any results the commission is due to release Tuesday, since President Michel Martelly appointed its five members. They accuse his supporters of the violence and intimidation that marred municipal elections in August and want to see consequences.

This most organized opposition calls Martelly the puppet president for the United States. They question how the businessman he recruited at the last minute to run to succeed him ended up with the most votes in an original field of 50-plus candidates.

"I have been working to win and this is why I'm working so hard," businessman Jovenel Moise told Local 10 News.

Journalist Kethia Piard, who covers Haiti's politics, frames the difficulty of reporting in a place where public documents and information may be difficult to obtain.

"How would you find that evidence? How do you know they are telling you the truth?" Local 10 News reporter Glenna Milberg asked.

"How do you know they are telling the truth?" Piard said. "That's the deal."

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