Haitian police are accused of firing rubber bullets at protesters angered by the conduct of the country's recent presidential election. Rough cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT - NO REPORTER NARRATION Witnesses accused Haitian police of firing rubber bullets at activists who were protesting on Wednesday (November 18) the results of the recent controversial presidential election. The activists were reacting to the country's Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) refusal to create an independent commission to verify official results from October, pitting ruling party candidate Jovenel Moise and Jude Celestin against each other for a second round. But the election has been riddled with accusations of fraud, which has triggered weeks of protests. Before the results were announced, third place candidate, Moise Jean-Charles, who won 14 percent, alleged ballots supporting him had been destroyed. In fourth place with seven percent was Maryse Narcisse of the Fanmi Lavalas (Lavalas Family) party of former, twice-overthrown president Jean-Bertrand Aristide. Supporters of Jean-Charles, Narcisse and even second-place candidate Celestine have turned out on the streets for days to demand a recount while the top eight candidates have met with the CEP to try to move beyond the impasse. But as thousands filled the streets, police fired rubber bullets at the crowd, witnesses said. According to the Miami Herald, a coalition of electoral observers presented a report that blamed the CEP for leaving the vote open to fraud by not ensuring the security of the ballots and handing almost a million accreditation cards to political party monitors and observers. The electoral council has set December 27 as the date of the run-off but the current instability threatens that date as candidates are weighing their next move.