Haitians wait for results after relatively peaceful elections

Electoral workers count ballots at a polling station in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, October 25, 2015. REUTERS/Jeanty Junior Augustin

Electoral workers count ballots at a polling station in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. (Photo: REUTERS/Jeanty Junior Augustin)

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, Tuesday October 27, 2015 – Haitians are now waiting for the results of the first round of presidential elections and the second round of legislative elections after a relatively smooth voting day on Sunday compared to the violence that dogged the first round of the latter in August.

It will be more than a week before even preliminary results are known.

Spokesman for Haiti’s Provisional Electoral Council Dumel Richardson said preliminary results could be issued in about 10 days but final results are not expected until at least late November.

On Sunday there was late start of polling at some stations and some allegations of fraud.

According to executive director of the Provisional Electoral Council, Mosler Georges, ballots were burned at four polling stations in northern Haiti. Police made 234 arrests for various irregularities and seized 13 guns.

However, officials said it was much more calm and organized than the voting in August.

Celso Amorim, head of a 125-person Organization of American States observer mission, said Haitians were beginning to take steps in determining their destiny.

“Of course, we have to wait. It’s not finished, but I have a positive expectation that we’re moving into the right direction,” the Brazilian diplomat said.

Fifty-three presidential candidates vied for the support of the 5.8 million registered voters. The run-off for the second round of legislative elections, for seats for the Lower House and the Senate in Haiti’s 119 constituencies, followed the August 9 first round which about 2,000 candidates from over 100 political parties contested.

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