Haitian police on alert as vote is counted

Police patrolled the streets and businesses boarded up windows yesterday as Haitians awaited the delayed preliminary results from last month's presidential election.

Haitians go to polls amid violence and ballot station chaos

Haitians went to the polls yesterday to elect a new president amid the ruins of an earthquake that has left 800,000 people homeless, fears of a cholera outbreak and reports of campaign violence and ballot station chaos.

Ex-president Aristide returns home to cheers

Former president Jean-Bertrand Aristide returned to Haiti yesterday, ending seven years of exile in South Africa and ignoring US opposition to a homecoming some fear could disrupt Haiti's presidential election run-off tomorrow.

Ousted Aristide's planned return lends extra drama to Haiti polls

The former president of Haiti, Jean Bertrand Aristide, was due to fly home from a seven-year exile in South Africa last night, against the wishes of the US and only days before the election of a new leader of the country. The drama that usually attends the comings and goings of the priest-turned-president was provided by the presence of a Hollywood star wanting to escort him back to Haiti and a phone call from US President Barack Obama who wanted to postpone Mr Aristide's departure.

Haiti: Candidates dismiss fears over Aristide

Haiti's two presidential candidates have dismissed concerns that the apparently imminent return of the exiled former president, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, would disrupt the election, despite a warning from the US State Department that he could be a destabilising presence.

Unpaid debts catch up with Haiti's political crooner

The course of Haiti's troubled presidential election has taken a fresh twist after it emerged that Michel Martelly, one of the final two candidates left in the keenly fought race, has faced severe financial problems in the United States, where he lived for most of the past 30 years.

Henry's Demons, By Patrick Cockburn and Henry Cockburn

The man who mistook a tree for his friend

Protesters call for Préval's removal

Protesters demanding that Haiti's outgoing President René Préval leave office immediately set up burning barricades yesterday and threw stones at police and UN peacekeepers.

President's man off ballot for Haiti election

They got there in the end, but the tortuous route Haiti took to finally arrive at the two candidates who will contest next month's presidential election can hardly fill its people with confidence about the integrity of their nation's democracy.

Unrepentant 'Baby Doc' insists he brought Haiti democracy, not tyranny

Former dictator speaks out with claim he wants to rebuild country

Votes counted to find out who will contest presidency

Haitians waited nervously last night for electoral authorities to announce who will contest March's scheduled run-off election for the presidency, amid growing criticism of a process, which has already sparked widespread allegations of corruption and voter fraud.

Former Haiti president Aristide invited to return from exile

The Government of Haiti has agreed to issue its exiled former president Jean-Bertrand Aristide with a diplomatic passport, paving the way for a return which promises to further cloud the country's muddy political waters. Lawyers for Mr Aristide, who has been living in South Africa since he was ousted in a 2004 coup, were assured yesterday that Haiti's cabinet would issue the document, should he choose to submit the necessary paperwork.

Haiti's ruling party withdraws support for election candidate

The soap opera battle to elect Haiti's next president has taken another unlikely twist after the ruling Unity party withdrew backing for its candidate Jude Célestin, one of three contenders who had been due to contest a final run-off election in the coming weeks.

Voodoo in close up

Despite being widely practised, the voodoo religion remains covert, shrouded in mystery amid whisperings of possession, zombies and magic. But photographer Gael Turine has gained rare access to voodoo rituals, managing to capture the amazing traditions and present an up-close view of its practises.

Aristide is 'ready' to end exile and return to Haiti

Sending a fresh ripple through the choppy waters of Haitian politics, the country's deposed former president, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, has declared that he is ready to end six years of exile and return home "today, tomorrow, at any time".

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