Boycotting candidate says Jan. 24 runoff will set Haiti back

Haiti's opposition presidential candidate says that if a runoff is held next weekend as scheduled, it will be a step back for the country's fragile democracy.

Jude Celestin says he has deep concerns about possible vote-rigging and a lack of transparency by electoral authorities. So he's boycotting the Jan. 24 runoff pitting him against the outgoing president's chosen successor.

Celestin tells The Associated Press that Haiti is "moving toward a selection, not an election."

He's ignoring U.S. and other countries' appeals for a competitive race in elections they are funding. The Organization of the American States and the United Nations also support holding the vote this month so a new president can take office by a Feb. 7 deadline.