Protests over election results in Haiti turn violent

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti - A political rally by opposition supporters turned violent Tuesday, leaving two police officers wounded, after rocks were thrown and guns fired during disturbances in the Haitian capital Port-au-Prince.

One of the officers suffered gunshot wounds in the protests, which erupted when supporters of several opposition parties took to the streets to challenge final results of the first round of presidential elections, announced earlier in the day by the Provisional Electoral Council (CEP).

The top two finishers in first round presidential voting were Jovenel Moise - backed by the outgoing president and the ruling party - and one of the more than 50 opposition candidates, Jude Celestin, the electoral commission said.

The October 25 election was the latest attempt in the Americas' poorest country to shed chronic political instability and work toward development.

It has taken until now for Haitian officials to complete the vote tally and resolve challenges to the final-first round numbers.

In the end, Moise won 32.8 percent of the vote and Celestin took 25.3 percent, the commission said. These are the same numbers as those released in a preliminary tally on November 5 The runoff is scheduled for December 27.

Moise, 47, was supported by outgoing President Michel Martelly. He is a businessman and political novice who until now worked in agriculture, mainly growing bananas. His nickname during the campaign was "the banana man".

Celestin, 53, is making his second bid for the Haitian presidency.

He was disqualified from the second round in the 2010 election vote following a recount by the Organization of American States. This time, he had been considered the frontrunner.

The first round of voting was largely peaceful, in contrast to violence during August legislative elections that left two people dead.

Haiti is still struggling to recover from a devastating 2010 earthquake that killed more than 250,000 people and crippled the nation's infrastructure.

Legislative elections were held in two rounds, on August 9 and October 25. The parliament had been dissolved on January 13 after lawmakers' terms expired in the absence of elections.