Violence has spread over Haiti while its interim government reviews and investigates election results because of suspected fraud and irregularities in last weeks’ presidential election, according to cnn.com.
Leading candidate Renal Preval strongly alleges a ‘gigantic fraud’ in the elections which may affect him in the ‘first-round victory,’ according to USA Today. Associated Press Journalists and UN officials found empty bags and missing ballots, mostly marked with Preval’s name, in a garbage dump near the capital. Nearly 35,000 ballots came up missing at a polling site that was ransacked on Election Day. One center was destroyed after people became enraged after waiting in line for so long.
After a television broadcast of the suspected fraud and missing ballots, tens of thousands of Preval supporters took to the streets in protest. In Port-au-Prince one protester was killed, cars were set ablaze and highways were blocked.
“Members of the Council-strongly urge all parties to respect the results of the election and refrain from violence,” said Josh Bolton, US ambassador to the UN, Josh Bolton told CNN.
Preval advised supporters to protest peacefully and told a Washington Post reporter that they should “continue to protest, but respect the rights of others.” He also said that, “If they publish the results as they are now, we will oppose them, the Haitian people will oppose them, and there will be protests.” Some election workers fear going back to work because of the violence that has erupted.
Preval has 48 percent of the votes with a 90 percent ballot count. He needs 50 percent to win. Four candidates have conceded the election to Preval; however, candidate Charles Baker is still in the running. According to CNN, if Preval does not get more than 50 percent of the vote, there will be a run off on March 19, and the president will be sworn in on March 29.