100s protest against alleged election fraud in Haiti
Hundreds of people have taken to the streets in the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince to protest against alleged vote rigging in the country’s recent presidential election.
The rally, which was held on Saturday, turned violent as some demonstrators threw rocks while police fired tear gas at them to break up the protest.
The preliminary results from last month’s first-round presidential election was announced on November 5 after Haiti’s Provisional Electoral Council delayed an earlier planned announcement to give authorities additional time to deal with complaints of fraud submitted by different quarters.
They received a total of 162 complaints, out of which 43 were assessed as admissible and forwarded to a tabulation center.
According to international observers, the October 25 election was held in a peaceful fashion and relatively smoothly. However, some political factions allege that a number of ballots have gone missing.
Based on the preliminary results, government-backed candidate, Jovenel Moise, and former state construction chief, Jude Celestin, are the two finishers that should head for a run-off vote scheduled for December 27.
Celestin of the Lapeh party received 25 percent of the vote, according to the results, and Moise garnered 32 percent.
Eight presidential candidates in the 54-candidate vote condemned extensive fraud in the voting in a move that sparked street protests in the impoverished Caribbean country.
The 53-year-old Celestin has also denounced the first-round results a “ridiculous farce,” telling a news conference that the results of “the people have yet to be announced.”
“They have put in place a repressive force to crush the people, to kill the people, but they won’t be able to kill all the people,” he added, pointing to the current government of President Michel Martelly.
The October poll comes almost five years after Martelly took office in the poorest country in the Americas.
Haiti got rid of the 30-year Duvalier dictatorship in 1986 but has not been able to find democratic stability since then.