[JURIST] The Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) [official website] in Haiti [JURIST news archive] acknowledged for the first time Friday that the country's February 7 presidential election [JURIST report; BBC backgrounder] was tainted by fraud, just one day after awarding the presidency [JURIST report] to leading candidate Rene Preval [Wikipedia profile] after negotiations that ended early Thursday. Specifically the CEP said that between 85,000 and 90,000 out of 2.2 million votes cast were blank ballots, and there were inconsistencies in the number of ballots left over at polling stations.
Suspicions were raised last week by the discovery of thousands of half-burned ballots [AP report] at a garbage dump in Port-au-Prince. The finding of fraud contradicts previous statements by international monitors who concluded the election was asuccess [IMMHE statement]. Reuters has more.