The announcement comes during a complex period in Haiti’s post-earthquake political landscape that began with the disputed first-round vote. That day of voting ended in violent demonstrations in Port-au-Prince after 12 of the 19 presidential candidates – including Martelly and Ms. Manigat – called for the election to be annulled due to fraud.
Initial poll results from the CEP had placed Mr. Célestin, who was endorsed by President René Préval, ahead of Martelly by a margin of less than 1 percent of the vote, with Ms. Manigat firmly in the lead.
A team from the Organization of American States (OAS) analyzed a sample of ballots and suggested Martelly, not Célestin, compete in the run-off election.
The OAS findings were backed by the international community and pushed by the US. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton flew to Haiti on Sunday to urge Mr. Préval and the candidates to accept the report’s findings. President Préval had initially balked at the OAS recommendation, but under international pressure, his INITE (Unity) party released a statement last week urging Célestin to step aside.