News from Haiti

Saturday, February 11, 2006

International Monitors Deplore Destruction of Ballots

Delmas, February 10, 2006. The Baker campaign Friday sent a letter to the electoral council alleging vote fraud and asking it to nullify the votes ``where there were too many irregularities.''

``People voted two, three and four times,'' said Hans Tippenhauer, a Baker campaign adviser. ``We do say we will accept the results, as long as the council members are doing their part.''

International election observers said that while they saw some problems, they were isolated. They commended the Haitian people for their large turnout, and called on electoral officials to correct problems, like late-opening polls and ballots thrown out after they were counted, for the second round.

``Our mission deplores some isolated incidents, in particular the destruction of ballots,'' said Jean-Pierre Kingsley, chairman of the 127-member International Mission for Monitoring Haitian Elections. ``That being said, we would like to emphasize the general absence of intimidation and violence at polling centers.'' Preval's campaign advisers acknowledged Friday that his lead might be shrinking as reports from the provinces trickle in. They had predicted an outright victory one day after the vote when the tallies included only the Port-au-Prince region.