- Title: Haiti prepares for long-delayed repeat presidential elections
- Date: 16th November 2016
- Summary: PORT-AU-PRINCE, HAITI (NOVEMBER 16, 2016) (REUTERS TV) STREET CORNER WITH SEVERAL PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN POSTERS VARIOUS OF CAMPAIGN POSTERS TWO CAMPAIGN POSTERS FOR JUDE CELESTIN (SOUNDBITE) (Creole) JOSEPH MARCEL, HAITIAN MAN, SAYING: "I still don't know who I will vote for. I have some doubts. What I am sure of is that before election day, I will find a candidate to vote for." VOTING CENTRE IN PETION-VILLE CAMPAIGN BANNER FOR CELESTIN EXTERIOR OF PROVISIONAL ELECTORAL COUNCIL (CEP) TWO HAITIAN POLICE OFFICERS PROVIDING SECURITY AT CEP BOXES OF ELECTORAL MATERIAL BEING STACKED AT CEP ARMED SECURITY AT CEP EXTERIOR OF CEP (SOUNDBITE) (Creole) FERDEAU SYDNEY, VOTER, SAYING: "It is an obligation that this Sunday, no matter what is going on in the country, we elect a president who can regularize institutions, who can regularize all the country's problems at a national and international level." UNITED NATIONS' VEHICLES LINED UP WITH MINUSTAH SOLDIERS STANDING GUARD VARIOUS OF MINUSTAH SOLDIERS STANDING GUARD (SOUNDBITE) (CREOLE) FRANCOIS ANELSON, POLITICAL PARTY MEMBER, SAYING: "We must unite for elections to be a success. I feel satisfied about the Electoral Council. It is working with transparency. However, we are watching so that certain problems don't happen again, knowing that Council members had a habit of demanding money to sell elections." FEET OF MINUSTAH SOLDIERS MINUSTAH SOLDIERS SIGN FOR NATIONAL IDENTIFICATION OFFICE (ONI) LINE OF PEOPLE IN FRONT OF NATIONAL IDENTIFICATION OFFICE TO REQUEST NEW ELECTORAL ID CARDS MAN HOLDING PAPERWORK TO REQUEST NEW DOCUMENTS MAN IN FRONT OF ONI LINE OF PEOPLE TO REQUEST NEW ELECTORAL ID CARDS UN VEHICLES AND MINUSTAH SOLDIERS BANNER URGING PEOPLE TO VOTE MINUSTAH SOLDIERS
- Embargoed: 1st December 2016 21:23
- Keywords: repeat election vote presidential election
- Location: PORT-AU-PRINCE, HAITI
- City: PORT-AU-PRINCE, HAITI
- Country: Haiti
- Topics: Government/Politics,Elections/Voting
- Reuters ID: LVA00158P3KNB
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Haiti tightened security and readied ballots ahead of the first round of its serially-delayed presidential election to be held on Sunday (November 20).
The election repeats a first-round vote a year ago whose results were scrapped as widely fraudulent after the second-place finisher denounced them and candidates rallied supporters to protest for months on end.
The new vote, previously set for October 9, was postponed when Category 4 Hurricane Matthew barrelled through the country, killing 1,000 people and leaving 1.4 in need of humanitarian assistance.
With 27 candidates vying to lead the Western hemisphere's poorest country, Haitians have been deluged with campaign posters for over a year.
Voter Joseph Marcel said he is still not sure who will win his support but is certain he will cast a ballot on Sunday.
"I still don't know who I will vote for. I have some doubts. What I am sure of is that before election day, I will find a candidate to vote for," he said.
The election faces significant challenges in the wake of Hurricane Matthew, the largest natural disaster to hit the country since the devastating 2010 earthquake.
With tens of thousands of hurricane victims packed into schools that would normally be used as polling centres and dozens of voting centres destroyed, there have been concerns about the viability of the vote.
But the government has been under opposition pressure to hold the vote quickly to dispel suspicions that interim President Jocelerme Privert might be trying to hang onto office illegitimately.
"It is an obligation that this Sunday, no matter what is going on in the country, we elect a president who can regularize institutions, who can regularize all the country's problems at a national and international level," said voter Fedeau Sydney.
The Provisional Electoral Council, or CEP, has accused former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide of the Lavalas Family Party of inciting violence by urging supporters to take up "dechoucage", or violent protests, if elections did not go ahead on Sunday.
Francois Anelson said party members must work together to ensure that elections are fair.
"We must unite for elections to be a success. I feel satisfied about the Electoral Council. It is working with transparency. However, we are watching so that certain problems don't happen again, knowing that Council members had a habit of demanding money to sell elections," he said.
Another area of widespread concern has been replacing the national identification cards of residents who lost their documents in Hurricane Matthew.
One and a half million registered voters live in the South, Southeast, Nippes and Grand'Anse departments, the four areas most affected by the storm.
The National Office of Identification (ONI), has promised to expedite applications for replacement cards, but lines outside offices do not reflect the number of voters who will likely need new identification.
According to the Council of the Americas, the CEP and ONI have been exploring options to identify voters on Election Day.
Haiti has been led by interim president Privert-- a former senator who served as interior minister under Aristide-- since February to avoid the prospect of Michel Martelly leaving office without a replacement.
The favourites in the race are conservative Jovenel Moise and centre-left Jude Celestin, who lead a field of 27 candidates. If no candidate gets more than 50 percent in the first round, a runoff will be held in January.
The country has more than 6 million registered voters.
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