Candidate is killed in Haiti in post-election violence
From Herald Wire Services
PORT-AU-PRINCE -- Haiti's disorganized but generally peaceful
the life of Jean-Michel Olophene, a minor party candidate for mayor of
Port-au-Prince, who died as the result of a clash between his supporters and
followers of the Lavalas Party of former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide.
Olophene, of the Assembly of Patriotic Citizens (RCP), was hit
in the head by a
rock during the melee Monday night in downtown Port-au-Prince.
Meanwhile, thousands of valid ballots from legislative and municipal
inexplicably littered a main street outside the capital's main voting station. Several
witnesses said the ballots were tossed from a truck Monday morning.
An electoral official told reporters that copies of statements
taken at local polling
stations, which are essential to any vote count, had been recovered.
Sunday's elections appeared largely peaceful, but six opposition
forces to accuse the ruling Lavalas Party of ``stuffing ballot boxes and
discrimination'' against their supporters who saw ``access blocked to numerous
The group also denounced aggression by armed men who, they said,
boxes after the polls closed. They also said a million ballots had mysteriously
disappeared, a charge that election officials disputed.
The Lavalas Party dismissed the allegations, saying they came
politicians with no connection to the people.''
An international observer praised the high voter turnout but remained
about the outcome.
The Organization of American States estimated that between 50
and 60 percent
of the nation's four million-plus registered voters turned out amid tight security.
Haiti has a population of about eight million people.
At stake in Sunday's election is Haiti's future parliamentary
majority with its hefty
The parliamentary contest -- with a runoff vote scheduled June
25 -- and municipal
elections were called to choose 19 senators, 83 members of the Chamber of
Deputies, 133 mayors and 7,124 officials in local population centers.
Haiti has been without a parliament or popularly elected city
councils for more
than a year due to a standoff between President Rene Preval and opposition
parties formerly in control of the legislature.