One dead in fresh protests over election report

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, CMC – Protests erupted again in Haiti Friday after the publication of the results of an inquiry by a commission of the Organization of American States on the outcome on the November elections.

Demonstrations, regarded as violent by the police, took place in several zones of the Haitian capital, such as Martissant, La Lue and Nazon.

Local station Radio Metropole said at least 13 people were arrested by the police that tried to clear barricades and open streets. One person was killed in the confrontations.

The protests occurred a few hours after a team of experts delivered a report on the first round of the presidential elections of November 28 to Haitian President Rene Preval.

The document recommends removing candidate Jude Celestin from the runoff, and proposes to replace him with Michel Martelly who had ended up third in the first electoral round after Celestin.

According to the OAS experts, Martelly won more votes than Celestin, and so he should be the candidate for the runoff against former Haitian senator Mirlande Manigat.

Several contenders and sectors of the society rejected the preliminary electoral results published by the Provisional Electoral Council, so Preval asked for verification.

The runoff was initially scheduled for January 16, but it was suspended.