Clinton presses for Haiti to adopt OAS solution

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Sunday pressed Haiti’s leaders to adopt an internationally-backed solution to the presidential and legislative elections’ dispute.

The continuing stalemate threatens to further undermine the fragile peace in the impoverished, French-speaking Caribbean country.

Clinton, who arrived in Port-au-Prince, the Haitian capital, for talks with Haitian President Rene Preval and leading presidential candidates, said she was delivering the message that Washington wants to see Haitian authorities enact recommendations by Organization of American States (OAS).

“We’ve made it very clear we support the OAS recommendations, and we would like to see those acted on,” she told reporters.

“We want to see the voices and votes of the Haitian people acknowledged and recognized,” she added.

In early January, the international experts revised the disputed preliminary results from the chaotic Nov. 28 elections.

Citing widespread irregularities in voting tallies, the experts recommended that presidential candidate and popular musician Michel “Sweet Mickey” Martelly be included in the March 20 second-round runoff vote in place of government-backed candidate, Jude Celestin.

Former Haitian First Lady, Mirlande Manigat, has already been confirmed for the run-off.

Besides the United States, the United Nations and major western donors, like France and Britain, along with the European Union, have made it explicit that they also support the OAS’ recommendation.

Despite the OAS’ report and international pressure, Celestin, a government technocrat and Preval protégé, has not formally backed down or withdrawn from the race, despite prodding from his own INITE or Unity coalition to do so.

Washington has also revoked the U.S. entry visas of several Haitians officials linked to INITE and Celestin’s campaign.

Without giving a clear indication whether it will follow the OAS recommendations, Haiti’s Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) said it will announce on Wednesday, Jan. 2 the definitive results from the elections.

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