Haiti election results trigger violent protests

Nov 26, 2015, 3:18 AM EST
AFP/Getty Images
AFP/Getty Images

Violent protests have erupted in Haiti after the electoral council announced the official results of the first round of last month's presidential election.

The BBC writes:

Jovenel Moise, who has the backing of current President Michel Martelly, came first with 33% of the vote and Jude Celestin came second with 25%. As neither won a majority, a run-off will be held on 27 December. The announcement triggered protests by supporters of another candidate, Moise Jean-Charles. His supporters took to the streets of Cabaret, a town in western Haiti, while protests also erupted in the capital, Port-au-Prince, where two police officers were injured. Police fired teargas to disperse protesters who denounced the first round as fraudulent. Last week, one person was killed when police clashed with protesters demanding that the first round be annulled.

Meanwhile, a team of U.S.-based lawyers who witnessed last month’s Haitian elections say there is mounting evidence showing a clear pattern of systemic fraud, voter confusion and intimidation, and in some areas disenfranchisement. The Miami Herald reports:

The report paints a grim picture of a flawed, chaotic electoral process on Oct. 25. Not only were voting procedures inconsistently applied at poorly designed polling stations, the report notes, but the widespread use of observer and political party accreditation led to people voting multiple times and potentially accounts for as much as 60 percent of the 1.5 million votes cast.

“Without major corrective measures, these elections will represent a significant setback in Haiti’s long-struggle to consolidate democracy,” said the report based on the observations of a delegation of election monitors from the National Lawyers Guild and International Association of Democratic Lawyers Delegation.