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BTL:Haiti's Poor Erupt in Protest After Charges that...
...Presidential Vote Count was Manipulated ~ Interview with Ben Dupuy, co-director of Haiti Progres, and former Haitian President Aristide's ambassador at-large, conducted by Between the Line' Scott Harris
Haiti's Poor Erupt in Protest After Charges that Presidential Vote Count was Manipulated
Interview with Ben Dupuy, co-director of Haiti Progres, and former Haitian President Aristide's ambassador at-large, conducted by Scott Harris
The first national election conducted in Haiti since the February 2004 overthrow of president Jean- Bertrand Aristide descended into chaos after charges were made that vote totals had been manipulated to prevent a former president and Aristide ally Rene Preval from claiming outright victory.
The Feb. 7 vote had been disorganized, but largely peaceful. However, when preliminary vote totals appeared to show that presidential candidate Rene Preval had won just less than 49 percent of the ballots -- falling short of the 50 percent +1 votes needed to avoid a runoff -- militant protests by his supporters erupted throughout the Haitian capital of Port-Au-Prince, with reports that U.N. peacekeeping forces had killed several demonstrators.
Of more than 2 million ballots cast, about 125,000 ballots have been declared invalid due to irregularities, raising suspicion among Preval supporters that polling officials were rigging the election. A member of Haiti's Electoral Council, Pierre Richard Duchemin charged that the vote count was being manipulated and called for an investigation. On Feb. 14th, Preval declared victory and said he was convinced there was massive fraud and gross errors that affected the process. Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Ben Dupuy, co-director of the Haiti Progres newspaper and formerly President Aristide's ambassador at large, who assesses the flawed ballot count and the concern of many that democracy in Haiti is once again being undermined.
Contact Haiti Progres by calling (718) 434-8100, or visit their website of http://www.haitiprogres.com
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