Latin America & Caribbean

Haiti election results trigger violent protests

An election poster of the presidential candidate Jovenel Moise in Port-au-Prince on 12 November, 2015 Image copyright AFP
Image caption Jovenel Moise won the first round of the presidential elections, the electoral council said

Violent protests have erupted in Haiti after the electoral council announced the official results of the first round of last month's presidential election.

Jovenel Moise, who has the backing of current President Michel Martelly, came first with 33% of the vote and Jude Celestin came second with 25%.

As neither won a majority, a run-off will be held on 27 December.

The announcement triggered protests by supporters of another candidate, Moise Jean-Charles.

His supporters took to the streets of Cabaret, a town in western Haiti, while protests also erupted in the capital, Port-au-Prince, where two police officers were injured.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Protesters blocked streets in the capital, Port-au-Prince
Image copyright AFP
Image caption Protesters said police used excessive force during the clashes
Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Protesters tried to shield themselves from teargas fired by police

Police fired teargas to disperse protesters who denounced the first round as fraudulent.

Last week, one person was killed when police clashed with protesters demanding that the first round be annulled.

The protesters accuse the government of rigging the election in favour of Mr Moise, an accusation Mr Martelly's administration has denied.

Boycott calls

On Tuesday, the National Offices of Electoral Litigation rejected a request by the Fanmi Lavalas opposition party to ban Mr Moise from the race because of "massive fraud".

Mr Moise is a banana exporter with little political experience but who enjoys the support of outgoing President Michel Martelly.

Jude Celestin made his name as the former head of the state construction company.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Jude Celestin is trying for a second time to be elected president

It is the second time he is running for president after he failed to win the 2010 election.

Some voters have called on Mr Celestin to boycott the run-off in December.

They want Mr Martelly to step down and a transitional government to take over and organise fresh elections.

Mr Celestin has not yet indicated what he will do.

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