Disorder, delays mar Haiti's long-awaited election

By Jill Replogle

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — Sporadic violence, including the ransacking of polling stations in the capital, forced dozens of voting centers to close Sunday during Haiti’s long-delayed legislative elections.

With low voter turnout reported, several Port-au-Prince stations were vandalized in the morning and 26 voting centers were closed across the country by midday.

Lengthy delays kicked off polling in many places as the impoverished Caribbean nation launched its first legislative elections since President Michel Martelly came to power in May 2011.

The vote, which takes place against a backdrop of fear of violence, also comes months after lawmakers left their posts.

Haiti — the poorest country in the Americas — suffers from a history of chronic instability and is still struggling to recover from a devastating 2010 earthquake that killed more than 250,000 people and crippled the nation’s infrastructure.

“Although there have been incidents in some polling centers, these problems have generally been corrected,” Elena Valenciano, head of the European Union’s observation mission told AFP.

Noting the day’s low turnout, the European Parliament said that “we must make an appeal to Haitians to exercise their right to vote, which is their voice to determine the future they want for their country once and for all.”

‘They came, yelled’

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Via:: Tico Times