Haiti Elections: Candidates Call for Peaceful Protest

There is no definite news yet from the Haiti elections and preliminary results are not expected until the end of the first week in December, but, “even before polling stations were closed in Haiti’s presidential and legislative elections yesterday, the vast majority of those hoping to be chosen as the next president were calling for the results to be scrapped.” See excerpts with a link to the full article below:

Twelve of the 19 presidential candidates urged voters to engage in peaceful protest against “massive fraud”, alleging that some ballot boxes had completed ballots inside, even before the voting began, to benefit the candidate of the ruling party – Jude Celestin. The long-awaited poll, that took place against the background of a cholera outbreak and lingering displacement that followed the January earthquake, was also marred by late opening of polls, poor organization, and isolated incidents of violence that forced the closure of some voting bureaus.

One of the candidates, former Prime Minister Jacques-Eduardo Alexi, argued that “the election is ruined” and should be called off. Another candidate, Anne Marie Rosette Bijou, read out a statement, with 11 other candidates flanking her in a show of support around 2 pm. The statement denounced the voting as fraudulent and accused President Rene Prevail and his government of using illegal means to keep their hands on power. [. . .] Officials from the Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) acknowledged there had been irregularities at about 56 voting centres and those would be investigated. However, it insisted that the voting go on.

Meantime, the Organization of American States (OAS)/Caribbean Community (CARICOM) joint electoral observation mission has declined to make any judgment for the time being and said comment would be given today. “We are in the process of evaluating and analyzing the information gathered on the conduct of the vote from our observers who have been in the field throughout polling day,” said mission chief Ambassador Colin Granderson in a statement yesterday after the voting. “As some of our teams are still gathering information that needs to be included in our assessment of polling day activities, specifically information on the closing of the polls and the counting of the ballots, I intend to issue a press statement by the end of the day on Monday.”

For full article, see http://www.caribbean360.com/index.php/news/haiti_news/51335.html

Photo: Supporters of Jude Celestin.

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