Haiti poll problems - Caricom

2011-03-20 23:15

Port-au-Prince - Haiti election observers found "irregularities" on Sunday at some polling stations as the Caribbean nation votes in a crucial presidential run-off, the chief international monitor told AFP.

Colin Granderson, the deputy secretary general of the regional Caricom bloc who is leading an international observer mission to the quake-shattered country, said it was too early to tell how widespread the problems are.

"In Croix-des-Bouquets [outside the capital], some poll workers arrived late, so the polling stations could only open 10 to 15 minutes later," he said, adding that the election commission had been made aware of the snafus (problems).

Poll monitors will try to determine whether problems have plagued the election across the board, Granderson said.

"I don't want to make a general statement. It is too early to tell," he said. "We have asked the CEP [election commission] to solve this problem".

Haitians choose on Sunday whether popular singer Michel Martelly or former first lady Mirlande Manigat will be their the new president, leaving the victor with the task of trying to rebuild the poorest country in the Americas.

The poll has been to some extent overshadowed by the return from exile of Jean-Bertrand Aristide, the country's first democratically elected leader.