Sun | Sep 24, 2017

Violence flares as final election results released

Published:Monday | December 21, 2015 | 12:00 AM
A UN Peacekeeper takes cover behind national police officers while demonstrators throw rocks, during a protest against the country's electoral council recently.

PORT-AU-PRINCE (CMC):

The release of the final legislative election results has sparked violence in sections of the capital.

On the weekend, street protests erupted when the results were announced. This led to several government buildings being set ablaze and the death of one demonstrator.

Police report that an 18-year-old protester was fatally shot when two factions clashed. The protesters burned an elections office, set tire barricades aflame and smashed the windows of a shop.

Unrest was reported in at least five of the country's departments: the North, Northwest, Southwest, Southeast, and West.

The long-delayed parliamentary results were released just over a week before the December 27 run-offs.

FINAL RESULTS

All 10 sitting members of Haiti's Senate had urged President Michel Martelly to prevent electoral authorities from issuing final results for legislative races until a commission could be set up to verify the integrity of the vote.

Late last week, the palace instead announced the formation of a five-member Electoral Evaluation Commission to review the October 25 vote in hopes of breaking the impasse.

However, the commission and the way in which it was formed has come under heavy criticism.

The opposition and the Senate have rejected the body, and the government has also

been forced to postpone the swearing in of its members, who were supposed to have issued a report yesterday.

In recent days, several legislative candidates have taken to the airwaves stating how they were asked to pay thousands of dollars in bribes to electoral court judges and council members in hopes of securing a spot in parliament.

While international observers have endorsed results from the first two rounds of this year's elections, an array of rights groups, local election monitors and political factions allege they were so marred by fraud that their validity is in question.