Mob sacks election office in Haiti
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) -- A mob protesting alleged bias by elections
officials sacked a provincial office and burned voting materials, the private
Radio Signal FM reported Wednesday.
The attack occurred Tuesday in Jeremie, about 200 kilometers (130
miles) west of Port-au-Prince, the capital. Calling for the resignation of a
district elections bureau director, Henso Saintclair, dozens of people set up
flaming tire barricades in streets, removed materials from the election office and
burned them. Crowd control police later intervened to restore calm.
On Monday, Saintclair's home was destroyed in a fire. That incident was
The protesters, composed of members of several left-wing groups and parties,
accused district election officials of favoring a center-left political coalition called
Space for Concord.
They also denounced Monday's assassination in Port-au-Prince of Haiti's
prominent radio journalist, Jean Dominique, outside Radio Haiti Inter. There were
no arrests in the slaying.
Demonstrations against staffing of election offices have often turned violent
southwestern Haiti's Grand'-Anse district. Three people were wounded in a
December protest that shut down the election office in Anse-D'Hainault.
At least 60 violent incidents have marred Haiti's turbulent electoral process
October. Local and legislative elections have been postponed three times and
voting dates are uncertain.
Last week, four people were killed in demonstrations in the capital against
electoral council. On Thursday, an opposition politician and his wife were slain in
"All of this violence has one objective: to halt the electoral process,"
Gilles, spokesman for the Space for Concord coalition, who criticized police for
failing to protect the Jeremie elections office. "The government has done nothing
to stop the violence and we denounce this complicity."