The front-runner in Haiti's presidential race denounced Sunday's national elections, calling for a complete annulment of the vote due to irregularities and ballot-box stuffing.
"I am asking my country's citizens, I am asking the Conseil Electoral Provisor, the government, and I'm telling the international community that as the leading candidate I'm asking for the formal cancellation of the elections," Mirlande Manigat told CNN.
At the same time, at least five other presidential candidates were gathering at a hotel in Port-au-Prince for what the campaign of contender Michel Martally billed as a press conference "to denounce today's massive fraud all over the country."
"We have since this morning [witnessed] other elements which convince us that an operation is in play now in Haiti in order to jeopardize the election itself," Manigat said.
Her campaign manager, Wimine St. Pierre, told CNN that Manigat "is asking to void the election across the entire territory of the country because of irregularities and the ballot boxes were already stuffed with votes for Jude Celestin," the hand-picked candidate of outgoing President Rene Preval.
Polls opened early Sunday in Haiti as voters struggling to overcome January's massive earthquake and a spreading cholera epidemic cast their ballots for president and other lawmakers on the fragile island nation.
Haitians lined up at polling centers inside temporary shelters that are being used as classrooms 10 months after January's 7.0-magnitude earthquake destroyed many of the city's schools.
Voters have three ballots to fill out: a green one for president and blue and brown ballots to elect lawmakers to the Senate and parliament.