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Three dead in Haiti as violence, vote manipulation issues mar elections

[JURIST] Three people were killed Tuesday in election-related violence in Haiti [JURIST news archive] as citizens waited for hours at voting stations to participate in the first national poll since former president Jean-Bertrand Aristide [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] was forced from office in 2004 and involuntarily taken out of the country by a US plane. Some critics alleged [Washington Post report] that the government intentionally delayed opening some voting stations to prevent poor citizens from voting for Aristide ally and ex-president Rene Preval [Wikipedia profile], though officials extended vote times [AP report] at the most busy locations.

Preval is considered by most to be the frontrunner out of the 30 candidates, but election results are not expected to be announced for at least several days. UN election observers, stationed in Haiti [UN press release] to ensure that the elections are "free, fair, credible, and transparent," expressed concern with considerable discrepancies on many voter registration lists. Reuters has more.

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