Monday, December 6, 2010

Tensions rise over Haitian elections

Haiti’s political divisions have deepened over allegations of widespread electoral fraud during last month’s presidential elections. Yesterday ten of the nineteen presidential hopefuls marched with an estimated 1500 protesters and called for the election results to be annulled. As the following video from Al Jazeera shows, the protest in Port-au-Prince turned violent as some demonstrators fought with police:

Despite allegations that President Rene Preval conspired to give the presidency to his party's candidate, Jude Celestin, Haiti's Provisional Electoral Council proclaimed the elections as a “success." A report from an international team of observers from the Organization of American States and the Caribbean Community noted a number of voting irregularities such as "deliberate acts of violence and intimidation to derail the electoral process." Yet the group also noted that these problems should not “invalidate the process."

Whoever becomes certified as the next president will have plenty of problems to deal with including Haiti’s crushing poverty as well as rebuilding after last January’s major earthquake. In addition, the next leader will have to contend with a spreading cholera epidemic that has officially claimed over 2000 lives and nearly 89,000 cases.

Online Sources- Herald Sun, BBC News, Voice of America, MSNBC
Video Source - YouTube

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