News / Americas

Haitians Vote in Presidential Runoff

Man wearing t-shirt with U.S. President Barack Obama's face is seen inside of a polling center during presidential elections in Port-au-Prince, March 20, 2011
Man wearing t-shirt with U.S. President Barack Obama's face is seen inside of a polling center during presidential elections in Port-au-Prince, March 20, 2011
Jeff Swicord

In Haiti, voters came out early on election day Sunday. After wide-spread allegations of fraud in the first round, officials were hoping this second and hopefully final round vote would run smoothly. International donors are waiting for a legitimate government to which they could release billions of dollars in aid to rebuild the country. But there were some sporadic problems in downtown Port-au-Prince.

At 6:00 a.m., early voters at the Lycee Marie Jeanne polling station in downtown Port-au-Prince began to trickle in. Haitians have been urged to turn out en masse to decide which of two candidates will lead the country as it struggles to rebuild after the earthquake of over a year ago.  

Polling station supervisor Jeanty Williams was pleased with how smoothly voting was going.

"So far everything is OK.  We opened at 6:00 a.m.  And as you can see the people are voting. They are coming and going, but it is a little slow," Williams said.

Watch video footage from Port-au-Prince, Haiti


The race for president pits former first lady Mirlande Managat against musician Michel "Sweet Micky" Martelly.  Also on the ballot are senators and deputies in 76 run-off legislative races.

Roseline Beljane told us she left her house at five in the morning to vote.  She had to wait more than an hour because there was no ink used to mark voter's fingers after they vote.

When we asked her who she voted for, she smiled coyly and as she was walking away said: "For the person who is working for the country ... Wyclef."  She was referring to Wyclef Jean, the rapper who launched a candidacy for president last year. His candidacy was disqualified by the national election committee.  He has been at the side of band mate and friend Michel Martelly for much of his campaign.

But things rarely go as planned in Haiti. As we walked toward the front gate, security guards had blocked it off and were not letting anymore voters in. The Electoral Committee had ordered the polling station closed because some voting materials had never arrived. The polling station supervisor, flanked by security guards, walked out to speak to the crowd.  

But angry voters like Joseph Sinal were uninterested in his explanation.

"I am here. I have an electoral card and they would not let me vote. They say they are missing materials, but I am here to vote for Michel Martelly. That is it," Sinal said.

Voting was also halted the Lycee Jeune Filles polling station just a few blocks away because of missing materials.  

An Election Committee spokesperson told us an emergency meeting had been called to discuss the problem. They also told us voting was going smoothly in other parts of the city and across the country. A few hours later both polling stations were reopened.  

Results are not expected until some time in April.

You May Like

India PM Modi's Party Distances Itself From Religious Conversions

BJP under fire for being slow to rein in hardline affiliate groups allegedly trying to promote Hindu-dominant agenda by luring Muslims and Christians to convert More

Anti-Whaling Group Found in Contempt of Court

Radical environmentalists who threw acid and smoke bombs at Japanese whalers in the waters off Antarctica continue their campaign to disrupt Japan's annual whale hunt More

UN's Ban Urges End to Discrimination Against Ebola Workers

Ban was speaking in Guinea on the second day of a whistle-stop tour aimed at thanking healthcare workers of the countries at the heart of the epidemic More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid

More Americas News

Kerry: US- Cuba Thaw Will Advance Interests for Both

Secretary of state says 11 million people of Cuba have waited far too long - more than half a century - to 'fulfill their democratic aspirations' and build closer ties with rest of world
More

Cuba's Famed Cigars Get a Foot in Door of US Market

Under new rules to be implemented soon, US will make it easier for some Americans to travel to Cuba and they will be able to return with $100 worth of alcohol, tobacco
More

Tourism, Farm Groups See Bigger Business With Cuba

'We are the closest major food producer that Cuba has,' an American Farm Bureau Federation spokesman notes
More

Castro Lauds US Outreach, Says Cuba to Remain Communist

In speech to lawmakers, Cuba's president says economic reforms will be accelerated, yet changes will be gradual
More

Raul Castro Steps Out of Brother's Shadow With US Deal

Cuban president scores diplomatic triumph, surge in support with this week's deal that ends decades of hostility with United States
More

US Report: Immigration Officials' Apprehensions Rose in 2014

Apprehensions of Mexicans fall 14 percent; those of individuals from other countries, predominantly in Central America, rise 68 percent
More