Haiti disqualifies 14 candidates for violence, inciting chaos during parliamentary elections

Haitian election officials on Tuesday disqualified 14 candidates for involvement in the violent disturbances that marred voting at polling stations around the country earlier this month.

Voters in the Aug. 9 election were filling two-thirds of the 30-member Senate and the entire 119-member Chamber of Deputies. It's not clear if those disqualified won because results haven't been announced.

Those disqualified by the Provisional Electoral Council include Senate candidate Arnel Belizaire. The former opposition member of the Chamber of Deputies is accused of firing a weapon in the air outside a polling station. Several others were accused of damaging voting stations or interfering with the casting or counting of ballots.

Belizaire, who has been a critic of the government of President Michel Martelly, could not be reached for immediate comment following the announcement. He denied any wrongdoing in an interview on a local radio station, saying he was not out in public on election day.

The Organization of American States said its monitors found scattered violence and irregularities but not enough to invalidate the results.

The balloting was considered a test run for the first round of Haiti's presidential election and the second round of local elections, scheduled for Oct. 25.


This story has been corrected to show that 14 candidates were disqualified.