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Haiti confirms Moise, Celestin as top 2 finalists in presidential election

(AP Photo/Dieu Nalio Chery, File)

By Evens Sanon


(AP Photo/Dieu Nalio Chery, File)

(AP Photo/Dieu Nalio Chery, File)

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti _ The top two finishers in Haiti’s first-round presidential election are government-backed candidate Jovenel Moise and former state construction chief Jude Celestin, officials said Tuesday. They are scheduled to compete in a runoff vote on Dec. 27.

Haiti’s Provisional Electoral Council said Moise received 33 per cent of the vote and Celestin received 25 per cent.

The announcement by the nine-member council set off a new wave of protests in Cabaret, where supporters of Moise Jean-Charles, one of the leading candidates from a field of 54, denounced the results. Protesters also began gathering in the nearby capital of Port-au-Prince.

A reporter with Zenith radio station who was at the protest said one person was injured after apparently being shot by police. Journalists with The Associated Press saw a policeman being carried away after he was shot, and another policeman who was injured after being hit in the head with rocks.

Pierre-Louis Opont, president of the Electoral Council, urged people to remain calm.

Last week, thousands of Haitians demanded that the Oct. 25 first-round presidential election be annulled during a violent protest that left at last one person dead.

The party of President Michel Martelly has dismissed accusations that it manipulated the voting or ballot count.

Moise, who has never held political office, was picked by Martelly as a successor, while Celestin was defeated in the disputed presidential election of 2010.

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