Opposition activists protest in front of the US embassy, in Port-au-Prince on January 21, 2015 against what they call the intervention of foreign countries in Haiti and against the next presidential election. / AFP / HECTOR RETAMAL
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Haiti's outgoing president brushed aside street protests, boycott threats and fraud claims Thursday to push ahead with plans to elect his successor this weekend.Michel Martelly, who is constitutionally barred from seeking re-election himself, dismissed opposition demands that he postpone Sunday's presidential run-off. In October's first round vote, Martelly's chosen successor Jovenel Moise was credited with 32.76 percent of the vote over opposition flag-bearer Jude Celestin's 25.29 percent.Celestin's supporters cried foul, accusing Martelly of mounting an "electoral coup d'etat".The government allowed a hastily assembled independent commission to review the ballots, but the opposition has not been mollified and protests have erupted.Despite being criticized by the new independent electoral commission formed after October vote, the official CEP electoral body plans to go ahead with Sunday's vote.In the same broadcast, Haiti's prime minister -- former opposition figure Evans Paul -- also denounced the protests and said the election was the only way out of the crisis.
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