Current Haitian President René Préval
Haiti, Latin America: Week in Review

Haiti Will Recount Votes In Disputed Election, Amid Protests And Confrontation

December 10, 2010 By Staff

Current Haitian President René Préval

Top StoryHaiti will recount the votes in a hotly disputed election, the president of the country’s electoral council said Thursday.

The decision follows protests and violent confrontations, after a vote marred by irregularities and accusations of fraud.

Complicating matters, the second- and third-place candidates finished within one percentage point of each other. The second-place candidate, former first lady Jude Celestin, backed by current President René Préval, the third-place candidate, Michel “Sweet Micky” Martelly is a popular musician.

Only one may go on to the second-round runoff election, scheduled for January.

Nearly all candidates have said fraud marred the vote, and a group of 10 candidates reaffirmed the allegation and called on Thursday for the election to be annulled, The Associated Press reports.

The joint mission of the Organization of American States and the Caribbean Community criticized the protests in a press release on Wednesday and called upon Haitians to make use of the legal remedies to challenge the preliminary results.

“The Electoral Law provides several legal remedies during the claims and change process,” the OAS-CARICOM statement said. The statement urged “candidates and political parties to make prompt and full use of these legal recourses in order to address their respective grievances with regard to the preliminary results.”

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