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Haiti's main opposition sides say flawed electoral council is jeopardizing upcoming vote

Haiti's leading opposition factions allege the country's presidentially appointed electoral council is stacking the deck in favor of President Michel Martelly.

Representatives of Haiti's main opposition sides insisted Thursday that they are being shut out of overdue legislative and local elections scheduled for Oct. 26.

The parties complaining of exclusion include the Unity party of former President Rene Preval and the Lavalas Family of former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. They have not registered with Haiti's current Provisional Electoral Council and question its legitimacy.

The council picked by Martelly has only seven of its mandated nine members. Its president is a lawyer who is defending former dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier against charges of embezzlement and human rights abuses.

Unity spokesman Dieudonne Saincy says Haiti needs an "impartial" electoral council before the balloting.