Probe: Haiti vote was marred by fraud

2016-01-04 11:25
(File, AP)

(File, AP)

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Port-au-Prince - Haiti's first round of presidential and legislative voting was marred by fraud, as opposition forces have charged, an independent panel says.

In the October 25 first round to choose a successor to President Michel Martelly, the candidate he backed - Jovenel Moise - drew 32.8% of the vote as opposed to 25.3% t for Jude Celestin.

A runoff had been due to go ahead on December 27 but was canceled after fraud allegations.

The first round and the subsequent lengthy and delayed vote count was marked by street protests alleging official corruption.

Celestin refused to campaign until an independent electoral commission was set up.

Poorest country

The commission said in its report that work by the government's Electoral Board had been sloppy and had led to many irregularities.

When the independent commission spoke to  members of the (CEP) board, they said that 60% of polling station staffers were unable to do their work properly, the report said.

"There were also votes crossed out, as well as math or tallying problems," it added. Additional woes were found in voter ID inspection.

That likely meant "votes were not cast by some voters even though they were eligible to do so," the report stressed.

The October presidential election was the latest attempt in the Americas' poorest country to shed chronic political instability and work toward development.

Haiti is still struggling to recover from a devastating 2010 earthquake that killed more than 250 000 people and crippled the nation's infrastructure.

Read more on:    haiti  |  election

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