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Election Campaigning Grips Haiti

A Haitian man stands in front of campaign posters supporting candidate Charles Henri Baker in Ganthier, Haiti.
Thony Belizaire
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A Haitian man stands in front of campaign posters supporting candidate Charles Henri Baker in Ganthier, Haiti.

There are 35 presidential candidates and 44 parties running in Haiti's first elections since former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide's ouster last year.

Among the contenders for the country's top post are a former president, a rebel leader and a former prime minister.

The campaigning season has gotten under way, with posters, political rallies and candidate jingles flooding the streets and the airwaves.

In a country where more than 50 percent of the people are illiterate, election jingles are one of the most powerful campaign tools.

Each party has a symbol and a ballot number, and they figure prominently in the songs.

Former President Aristide still looms large in Haiti and candidates seem to be either running against him or as a stand-in for him. Aristide -- a democratically elected leader -- was forced out of office in February 2004.

Since then, an interim government backed by United Nations peacekeeping forces has been in charge of the country.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Lulu Garcia-Navarro is the host of Weekend Edition Sunday and one of the hosts of NPR's morning news podcast Up First. She is infamous in the IT department of NPR for losing laptops to bullets, hurricanes, and bomb blasts.