April 20, 2009 / 2:04 AM / 9 years ago

Haitians largely boycott Senate ballot

By Joseph Guyler Delva

PORT-AU-PRINCE, April 19 (Reuters) - Several people were wounded and voting was disrupted by violence in Haiti on Sunday during a Senate election largely boycotted by voters.

After polls closed, observers estimated that fewer than 10 percent of potential voters went to the polls.

The Lavalas Family Party, the Caribbean country’s biggest political party widely backed by Haiti’s poor, had urged an election boycott after its candidates were knocked off the ballot in a dispute over filing requirements.

One man, according to an unconfirmed report, was attacked with machetes and then burned alive by residents of the village of Liancourt in Haiti’s northern Artibonite region.

Several other people were wounded during clashes between supporters of rival candidates.

Haitian police and U.N. forces exchanged fire with civilian gunmen in the northern town of Marchand Dessalines. One member of the security forces was wounded, according to local election officials, who did not provide further details.

The ballot was held to elect 12 candidates to the 30-member Senate.

Other violent confrontations, as well as massive frauds, in the Central Plateau area prompted election authorities to cancel the ballot in the whole region. (Editing by Michael Connor in Miami)




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