News from Haiti

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Signficant percentage of ballots nullified

International observers have said they saw some irregularities at polling stations but have not suggested the results were tainted by fraud. A significant percentage of ballots cast have been nullified.

Elections officials said the results released on Friday included tallies from all of Haiti's ten departments (provinces), whereas Thursday's results included only five.

"Preval has quite a bit of popularity in the West and it is the first department that we processed, and therefore he was ahead of everybody," said Jacques Bernard, director-general of the elections council. "As we include other departments his percentage is going down."

And observers noted that large numbers of ballots were being nullified. Nationwide, 7.7 percent of the 1.1 million votes processed so far had been nullified. But in Nippes department, for example, 14.1 percent were deemed invalid and in Centre, 12.9 percent were nullified.