- Title: After repeated delays, hurricane-hit Haiti holds presidential vote
- Date: 20th November 2016
- Summary: PORT-AU-PRINCE, HAITI (NOVEMBER 20, 2016) (REUTERS) ELECTORAL WORKER OPENING THE DOOR TO VOTING CENTRE SIGN AT VOTING CENTRE THREE ELECTORAL WORKERS VOTERS STANDING IN LINE (SOUNDBITE) (Creole) UNIDENTIFIED PORT-AU-PRINCE RESIDENT SAYING: "I left my house this morning at four. I came here walking because there were no cars. I came here because I really wanted to (vote)." CANADIAN POLICE OFFICER WHO IS PART OF MINUSTAH AT THE VOTING CENTRE VOTERS ENTERING VOTING CENTRE PORT-AU-PRINCE VOTER ENTERING VOTING CENTER IDENTITY CARD FOR VOTER ELECTORAL WORKER LOOKING THROUGH VOTING LIST VARIOUS OF VOTER VOTING BALLOT BOXES VARIOUS OF PORT-AU-PRINCE VOTER PLACING BALLOT IN BOX, DIPPING FINGER IN INK VOTER SHOWING VOTING CARD TWO ELECTORAL OBSERVERS AT CENTRE (SOUNDBITE) (Creole) UNIDENTIFIED VOTER SAYING: "The people are not sleeping. We have decided to vote for a person with values who can change the country." VOTER CHECKING VOTING LIST BALLOT BOX BALLOT VOTER CHECKING LIST PERSON VOTING U.S. AMBASSADOR PETER MULREAN OBSERVING THE VOTING PROCESS VARIOUS OF VOTERS IN QUEUE GENERAL VIEW OF STREET
- Embargoed: 5th December 2016 14:20
- Keywords: Haiti election vote hurricane president
- Location: PORT-AU-PRINCE, HAITI
- City: PORT-AU-PRINCE, HAITI
- Country: Haiti
- Topics: Government/Politics,Elections/Voting
- Reuters ID: LVA0015990EVB
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Haitians began casting their ballots in a long-delayed presidential election on Sunday (November 20) that islanders hope will stabilize the impoverished nation and help it get back on its feet after a devastating hurricane last month.
The struggling islanders, despite scepticism, look for the election to bring an end to a year of political uncertainty and deliver a president who can unite a nation already battered by a 2010 earthquake, lift the economy and create jobs.
One voter told Reuters he had left his house early to cast his ballot.
"I left my house this morning at four. I came here walking because there were no cars. I came here because I really wanted to (vote)," the unidentified voter said.
Originally held in October 2015, the presidential vote was scrapped after protesters and politicians complained of rampant fraud. As a result, former President Michel Martelly left office in February with no elected successor, leaving the country in the hands of a transition government.
Among more than two dozen candidates competing for the top job are Jude Celestin, who ran a government construction company, and Moise Jean-Charles, a former senator.
Unless a candidate wins more than 50 percent of the vote, or an advantage of at least 25 percent over the second-place candidate, the two top finishers move to a second round run-off scheduled for Jan. 29. The winner is expected to take office in late February.
A recent survey by polling firm BRIDES showed that local entrepreneur Jovenel Moise, a relative political newcomer, could be elected president in the first round for Martelly's Bald Heads Party. Nevertheless, civil society groups say polls in Haiti are notoriously unreliable.
Another voter said she hoped for change.
"The people are not sleeping. We have decided to vote for a person with values who can change the country," she said.
Some voting centres damaged by the storm will be replaced with tents, but officials say they are on track to hold the vote, which includes some parliamentary and local elections.
Since the hurricane, police and U.N. forces have assisted aid convoys, which have been attacked by desperate residents.
Security forces are being redirected to the polls, as Haitian elections have tended to be marked by unrest.
Former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide made statements to supporters two weeks ago that critics interpreted as a call for violence if his party's candidate, Maryse Narcisse, did not win.
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