Ruling party candidate withdraws from Haiti's presidential race

PORT-AU-PRINCE (BNO NEWS) -- The ruling party in Haiti announced on Wednesday the withdrawal of its candidate from the presidential race, Le Nouvelliste reported.

Jude Celestin, whose candidacy was backed by outgoing President René Préval, has not confirmed his own withdrawal, and his signature does not appear on the party's statement. Since the first round of presidential elections on November 28, Haiti has plunged into a political crisis.

Preliminary official results have put conservative Mirlande Manigat in first place and Celestin in second place, eliminating popular singer Michel Martelly from the second round, which was originally scheduled for January 16.

These results have been denounced by supporters of Martelly and challenged by an audit of the votes of the Organization of American States (OAS). The organization suggested a duel between Manigat and Martelly in the second round.

The Inite party criticized the report from OAS, and called on its supporters to remain calm.


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