Elections in Haiti were marred by fraud allegations and violence Nov. 28 as protestors calling for a cancellation of the voting clashed with U.N. officials, the Associated Press reported.
One man was reportedly shot to death at a polling place in rural Artibonite. A Haitian radio station said at least 15 people had been injured during demonstrations near Port-au-Prince, the nation’s capital.
The Haitian Truth Web site said protests will continue until the international community takes action against the “fraudulent election.”
The elections will produce Haiti’s next president, 11 senators and 99 seats in the lower house. Nineteen people are contending for the president’s seat, but The Long Island Press says the race may come down to a man not on the ballot—past President Rene Preval.
He was barred from seeking reelection. But, according to leaked U.S. diplomatic cables, was said in 2009 to want to “orchestrate” Haiti’s political transition so he could avoid being forced into exile.
According to United Nations’ and Organization of American States’ estimates, of the 4.7 million Haitians registered to vote, hundreds of thousands probably died in the earthquake. The group added that many living voters had not received voter cards or were unsure of polling locations.
On Election Day, nearly all leading presidential candidates alleged that hopeful Jude Celestin was benefiting from fraud and called for the election’s cancellation, the AP reported.
Conversely, chief U.N. peacekeeper Edmond Mulet said the elections were generally “going well” despite a few “small administrative problems.”
“I see a great passion of citizens and from citizens for democracy in this country,” he told AFP. “There is no reason to be frightened. It’s an electoral celebration.”
A delegation of U.S. congressional members voiced “serious concerns” about the election.
“We urge the U.S. government, the OAS and the UN to give full consideration to the charges of fraud and abuse and to await the result of any investigation before passing judgment on the conduct of Haiti’s elections,” the legislators said in a statement.
The Organization of American States also told the AP that many voters had been disenfranchised by disorganization, intimidation and violence.
The Haiti election turmoil comes after violent protests against U.N. peacekeepers, who some public health officials believe brought the cholera outbreak to the disaster-ravaged nation.