The first round of Haiti’s presidential and legislative election was held on November 28, 2010 in particularly inauspicious conditions. Over one million people who lost their homes in the earthquake were still living in appalling conditions, in makeshift camps, in and around Port-au- Prince. A cholera epidemic that had already claimed over two thousand lives was raging throughout the country. Finally, the election was being organized by a provisional electoral authority council that was hand-picked by President Préval and widely distrusted. The council had excluded several political parties from the election, including Haiti’s most popular party, so regardless of what happened on Election Day, the vote was already highly contested. Despite these difficult circumstances, the Haitian authorities were under a great deal of pressure–in particular from foreign entities in the international community–to hold the election at the end of November.
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