The governing party’s support for Mr. Célestin began to crumble not only over American threats to withhold aid, but also after the United States revoked the visas of several electoral officials close to the candidate.
Mr. Célestin is the only person who can end his candidacy before a ruling by Haiti’s electoral council. It is expected to announce by Feb. 7 which of the candidates will compete in the runoff.
“I think he’s trying to teach the country a lesson,” said one senior international election monitor, referring to Mr. Célestin. “There is a process in place to determine which candidates have won enough votes to go to the runoff.
“If anyone is going to appear to cave to the will of the United States,” the official said, “Célestin doesn’t want it to be him.”