Fourteen candidates for national office in Haiti were disqualified Tuesday by state election officials following violent disturbances at voting stations across the country earlier this month. Accusations of violence during the elections spanned from allegations that one candidate asked their supporters to attack their opponent to allegations that a candidate shot a gun in the air at a polling station.
Voters went to the polls Aug. 9 to choose two-thirds of the country's 30-member Senate and to elect the entire Chamber of Deputies class. Whether or not those who were disqualified had won, according to the Associated Press, is uncertain because the winners had not been announced yet. In January, the country disbanded its parliament, and it had been three years since the last vote in the country took place.
Of those disqualified was Arnel Belizaire, a former opposition member of the Chamber of Deputies who was accused of firing a weapon at a polling site. He has denied the accusations.
In spite of the violence concerns during the polling, which was the first of three scheduled dates to renew the government, international observers considered the voting to have gone pretty well overall. Still, there has been concern that the violence and intimidation kept many people at home when they should have been casting their votes.
"The consensus is that, while there were some problems -- including more than two dozen polling places that were shut down for some reason or another -- the process did go on fairly smoothly," said senior correspondent for Al-Jazeera Rob Reynolds at the time.
The country is slated to vote again in October, when presidential voting will also begin. A third round could take place in December. International allies have been pitching in to cover the $74 million price tag of the elections, and citizens have been encouraged to vote in all three rounds of voting. Every two years, a third of the Senate seats are normally replaced; however, voting was suspended in 2012.