Clinton to discuss electoral crisis with Haitian leaders

WASHINGTON: U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will meet with Haitian leaders to discuss the electoral crisis and to press the adoption of the recommendations from the Organization of American States, a release from the U.S. Department of State said on Sunday.

"I am looking forward to talking with the three candidates, as well as President Preval and civil society and the press in Haiti, because we have made it very clear we support the OAS recommendations, and we would like to see those acted on,” Clinton said before heading to Port-au-Prince.

She said that not only the United States, but other members of the international community, including the UN and the European Union, want to see Haitian authorities enact recommendations by OAS experts.

Preliminary official results put conservative Mirlande Manigat in first place and government-backed candidate Jude Celestin in second place, eliminating popular singer Michel Martelly from the second round, which was originally scheduled for January 16. OAS experts, instead, have suggested a duel between Manigat and Martelly in the second round.

Preval's mandate expires February 7th, and authorities have not established a date for a run-off election. Haiti's provisional electoral commission has set a tentative date of March 20.

"There are timing concerns, there are issues of a continuing government, how that can be structured, and that's what I am going to be discussing," Clinton added.


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