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Haiti Will Repeat Legislative Elections Across Much of the Country

e6d6c178f6df8effee64831fb3b2ef881f245c95Port-au-Prince (AFP) – Legislative elections will be repeated across nearly a fifth of constituencies in Haiti, where polling turned deadly, voter turnout reached only 18 percent and just three deputies of 119 were chosen, authorities said.

Haiti’s Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) made the announcement at a press briefing at which it had been expected to reveal results from the first-round election.

Instead, officials said winners’ names were available on the CEP website, which went down following the announcement. They then left under police escort.

The incidents mark the latest turn in a long, troubled attempt to stage elections in the western hemisphere’s poorest country.

Results reported early Friday had just three deputies selected in the first round of voting. Candidates now have a week to dispute the results.

National Police forces had been mobilized amid concern that the CEP’s results announcement could trigger another round of violence, and forces from the MINUSTAH mission of the United Nations were at the ready.

But no major incidents were reported in Port-au-Prince or other large cities.

The CEP vowed action would be taken against the perpetrators of crime and sporadic violence that killed two people and forced dozens of voting centers to close during the long-delayed August 9 elections, Haiti’s first poll since 2011.

Electoral adviser Nehemy Joseph said political parties that contributed to the violence would be excluded from the election.

Already, a total of 16 candidates have been disqualified ahead of the October 25 second-round vote over their suspected involvement in the crime and violence.

CEP officials used the press briefing to announce that Haiti’s first-round election will be redone across 25 of the country’s 119 constituencies where less than 70 percent of ballots were sent back to the vote counting center in Port-au-Prince.

In the country’s most populous department, Ouest — which includes the capital city — turnout reached only 10 percent. Across all municipalities, voter turnout never exceeded 50 percent, according to the CEP.

Candidates, voters and journalists had waited well into the evening for the first-round results Tuesday, the day the CEP had said it would release qualifying candidates’ names.


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