‘We Have to Vote, We Gotta Vote,’ Haitians Declare

Haiti’s Oct. 25 presidential election was largely peaceful, but there were tense moments at a polling station when voters lined up for hours and accused police of blocking them from voting.

“I don’t feel good at all [about security], because the national police has been politicized,” voter Yowwanson Versaille said.

Officers with the Haitian National Police tried to calm the crowd. The polling station lacked screens and tables, and allowing the voting to proceed before logistics were in place risked damaging the integrity of the electoral process, according to the officers.

It is not unusual for candidates’ supporters in Haiti to steal ballots or attempt to vote multiple times.

“There was more participation, it’s a good indication,” Celsio Amorim, an election monitor with the Organization of American States, told War Is Boring. “I think this is of course because of the measures by the authorities here.”

“It’s a good step for the Haitian people, because [it’s] the Haitian people who have to decide their destiny.”

We likely won’t know the results for several days. Jude Celesin, the former chief of Haiti’s state-run construction ministry, was leading in the polls. His main opponents are businessman Jovenel Moise — who has the support of outgoing Pres. Michel Martelly — and populist Moise Jean Charles.

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