Haiti presidential candidate alleges fraud, promises to challenge results

[JURIST] Haitian presidential candidate Rene Preval [Wikipedia profile], currently leading [JURIST report] in the official count from the February 7 election [JURIST report; BBC backgrounder] with 48.76 percent of the votes [CEP PDF], said Tuesday that the poll was plagued by "gross errors and probably gigantic fraud." Preval, a former president and close ally of former president Jean-Bertrand Aristide [BBC profile; JURIST news archive], also said he would contest the results and encouraged protestors to continue their demonstrations but urged them to be peaceful, after at least one protestor was killed [JURIST report] Monday when members of the UN Stabilization Force in Haiti [official website] fired into a crowd. Approximately 90 percent of the votes have been counted so far with about 125,000 ballots (out of 2.2 million) declared invalid, leading Preval supporters to accuse the Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) [official website] of throwing out winning votes for Preval.

Meanwhile Tuesday, a group of rival candidates conceded that Preval had won the election [Reuters report], but the Haitian government called on voters to remain patient as the last 10 percent of the votes were counted. If Preval takes more than 50 percent of the vote he can avoid facing the second place finisher in a runoff. The UN Security Council [official website] has issued a statement [text; UN News report] appealing for calm [VOA report] in Haiti while votes are counted. The Council also said that it expected that the remainder of the electoral process "will continue to be transparent and meet international standards." AP has more.



 

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