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Haiti Cholera President Elections Disease Epidemic Violence United Nations

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Four presidential candidates call for Haiti poll postponement

AFP/Hector Retamal

Protests against the UN in Haiti died down Sunday but four candidates have called for the country’s presidential election to be postponed as the country battles a cholera outbreak.

Demonstrators blocked roads and bridges this week, protesting against the United Nations, which they believe is responsible for the cholera epidemic that has left at least 1,200 dead.

Elections are set for the 28 November. Opponents of postponement fear that delays might increase political instability.

"The protests have basically died down for now,” reports Ansel Herz from Cap-Haitien. Earlier in the week “there were barricades made of coffins, burned out cars, flaming tyres and tree trunks", he told RFI.

Authorities have maintained that the election will not be postponed, but four candidates - Josette Bijou, Gerard Blot, Garaudy Laguerre and Wilson Jeudy - sought a delay.

"A lot of people are scoffing at these four candidates, because they're seen as very marginal and their call has been seen a ploy to put off the vote and maybe campaign a little bit more," he says. "That said there are huge questions as to whether people are going to participate in the vote, given that you still have 1.3 million people living under tents."

The fight against cholera has resumed, Herz says, but it faces a serious lack of resources.

"I was talking to a magistrate from a commune, he says there is basically one clinic operating in the area, they have only three doctors and very little supplies. People are coming down out of rural areas and not making it to the clinic on time, and he said they have been dying in the street."