PORT-AU-PRINCE -- Friday, November 26th was the last day of campaigning for the 16 candidates running in today's presidential election in Haiti. Jude Célestin, who started the race as one of the lesser-known players, is now among the top contenders.
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A key factor in Célestin's success has been the support of current president René Garcia Préval and an associated influx of cash, which has enabled Célestin to hold large rallies and cover the country with posters. One of Haiti's top hip-hop artists, Izolan, also supports Celestin -- a major source of attraction among the youth vote.
While the campaign has taken on a carnival-like atmosphere -- with dancing in the streets and singers being cheered as much as politicians -- the rallies have also been tense: More and more partisan fights are breaking out, increasing the security challenge for Haitian police and UN forces.
As voters go to the polls, the threat of cholera is spreading, while thousands displaced since the earthquake are still living in tent cities.