World Bulletin / News Desk
Twenty-seven candidates are running ahead of the polls slated for Sunday, but the crowded pack has a clear front-runner in Jovenel Moise, a 48-year-old agricultural entrepreneur nominated by former President Michel Martelly last year to lead the ticket of Tet Kale Party.
Moise, a rags-to-riches banana producer from Trou du Nord, is leading polls with 54.1 percent of votes, with Swiss-educated mechanical engineer Jude Celestin from Port Au Prince coming in second with a distant 20.8 percent, according to a survey by polling firm Brides between Nov.13-16. Jean Charles Moise is the only other candidate polling in double digits with 11 percent.
Leading candidate Jovenel Moise has not held any public office but wants to use his agricultural experience to transform Haiti’s destiny, he told Anadolu Agency.
“We are going to modernize the agricultural sector, promote exports, and create more jobs in rural areas, so no Haitian has to emigrate overseas for economic problems,” Moise said.
Moise is confident he will win “because Haitians understand the vision and direction that I want to give to the nation,” he said. “The country will be the winner,” he added.
Celestin, 54, runs on a platform of building for the future. He says he is after a politically stable, prosperous, and independent economy.
“We will go to break with the past without denying our history and our convictions,” said Celestin, former executive director of the government's construction ministry.
Both candidates spent Friday making their final efforts to motivate a majority of the 6.5 million voters, who are called to participate in the rerun of the presidential election that has been postponed three times since last year.
The process, originally scheduled for Dec. 27, 2015, was canceled in summer by an independent commission due to allegations of fraud.
It was re-scheduled after Hurricane Matthew left utter destruction in its wake, killing more than 546 and directly affecting about 1.4 million Haitians.
Leopold Berlanger, President of the Provisional Electoral Council (CEP), said Friday the organization made everything within their power to guarantee access for all citizens to the polls, opening 1,534 voting centers nationwide.
Part of the parliament will also be renovating in Sunday ballot, and thousands of municipals seats will also be up for grabs.