Electoral Court hands down ruling in challenge to presidential election results

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PORT AU PRINCE, Haiti, Jan 3, CMC – The Office of the National Electoral Litigation (BCEN) Monday ruled that while there had been irregularities in the tabulation of votes cast in the November 20 presidential elections last year they did not “affect the electoral process”.
One month after voters had cast ballots in the legislative and presidential elections, the BCEN had handed a lifeline to three political parties that had been challenging the victory of businessman Jovenelle Moise, when it ordered a review of the preliminary results.
Attorneys for the political parties – Famni Lavalas, Piti dessalin and LAPEH – had argued against the tally giving more than 55 per cent of the votes to Moise, who was chosen by former president Michel Martelly to represent his party, Tet Kale (PHTK).
The attorneys representing defeated candidates -Jude Celestin, Moise Jean-Charles and Maryse Narcisse- cited errors in the vote count and officials’ failure to comply with the requirement that voters sign their ballots or mark them with fingerprints at polling stations.
The Electoral Court in its ruling on December 20 ordered that 12 per cent of randomly drawn presidential minutes be verified and that the verification exercise be carried out in the presence of the parties concerned and the national and international electoral observation organizations.
The court has set no deadline for completing the process
But the BCEN said that after “deliberation in the Chamber of the Council, acting in accordance with the Decree of 2 March 2015 in force without appeal…declares that after analysis of the 12 per cent or one thousand five hundred and sixty (1,560) Minutes at the Vote Tabulation Centre (CTV), it does not detect any massive fraud but irregularities which cannot affect the electoral process”.
“The …decision of the BCEN is without appeal for the protestors,” it added.
The Provisional Electoral Council (CEP), which had earlier rejected the request by the three political parties challenging the results of the elections, is due to announce the results of the presidential elections later on Tuesday.

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