9 Dec 2010

Election protests erupt in Haiti

9:49 am on 9 December 2010

The headquarters of the ruling party in Haiti has been set ablaze by protesters angry about the results of presidential elections.

Thousands of people took to the streets of the capital Port-au-Prince after the first round results were released late on Tuesday.

Protesters accuse the ruling party of rigging the first round in favour of its candidate Jude Celestin.

Mr Celestin finished just ahead of pop star Michel Martelly, who looks likely to miss out on the run-off.

Demonstrations erupted in several cities soon after the results were announced on Tuesday night.

In Port-au-Prince, supporters of Mr Martelly started fires and set up barricades.

Thousands of young people resumed the protests in the capital early on Wednesday.

Most observers say the first round of the voting was grossly mismanaged, the BBC reports.

The former first lady Mirlande Manigat won 31% of the vote and Mr Celestin 22%. Mr Martelly polled just over 21% - about 6,800 votes short of Mr Celestin.

The run-off will take place in January.