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Haiti - Elections : Violence in Mirebalais, the tension rises
A meeting on the public square in Mirebalais, scheduled for Tuesday afternoon by the candidate Mirlande Manigat, who was returning from Hinche, was disrupted by a group of individuals, before to turn into clashes between supporters of both camps, obliging the candidate to cancel her meeting.
The anti-Manigat, who had invested the crowd, waving posters of Michel Martelly have made understand to the candidate that she was not the welcome in Mirebalais, screaming for more than 30 minutes, preventing the candidate to speak.
Security agents of the candidate Mirlande Manigat then intervened bluntly to stop this noise and have bludgeoned the disruptive, causing several casualties. The anti-Manigat have then threw stones on the supporters of Manigat, provoking an immediate response from them rapidly transforming the meeting into a violent confrontation. The police fired into the air to try to control the situation, triggering panic among the supporters of both camps.
Without having had time to speak, the candidate had to cancel her meeting and be evacuated, protected by her bodyguards and support staff of the Departmental Unit of Maintenance of Order (UDMO). The police reported several minor injuries by throwing stones.
Mirlande Manigat, denounced the attitude and the violence of supporters of his rival and is preparing to file a complaint before the Provisional Electoral Council (CEP). She also complained of the passivity of the police who did nothing against the disrupters.
The Mirage Hotel, an establishment owned by a supporter of Michel Martelly, was targeted by stone-throwing coming from the pro-Manigat supporters after the spread of the unrest in several parts of the city.
Violence against one or the other candidate, contribute these days to rot the climate of the second round and lets fear serious violences for the vote of March 20 and the days that follow. The Organization of the American States (OAS) had condemned the day before, the electoral violence and urged both sides to calm their supporters to allow the vote next Sunday in the best conditions.