Haiti’s constitutional referendum postponed indefinitely

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The Haitian authorities announced Monday night that the constitutional referendum scheduled for June 27, which the opposition called for a boycott, has been postponed indefinitely due to the health crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“This decision was dictated by the difficulties the council is facing in gathering staff and training them to conduct the polls,” the temporary electoral council said in a statement.

The council did not specify the next date for the referendum, saying only that it will do so “after the recommendations of the health authorities and the technical opinions of the electoral institution’s cadres.”

And since May 24, a health emergency has been in place throughout Haiti to limit the spread of coronavirus infections, after cases of alpha and gamma mutants were recorded (the alpha mutant was detected for the first time in Britain in December 2020 and the gamma mutant in Brazil in January 2021).

Even before this new epidemic wave, there were doubts about the possibility of organizing this referendum, which the president wants to hold and which the opposition rejects.

The opposition and a large number of civil society organizations are challenging the legitimacy of President Jovenel Moise, who has been ruling the country since January 2020 by presidential decrees.

The holding of the referendum is a controversial issue even within the presidential camp itself, because it contradicts the provisions of the current constitution in force since 1987.

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