UN peacekeepers struggled to keep control as Haitians flocked to voting stations, some of which opened late. This is the first election since Jean-Bertrand Aristide was thrown out in a bloody revolt two years ago. The presidential and parliamentary votes had to be postponed several times after a wave of kidnappings and violence.
Polls suggest the leading presidential candidate is Rene Preval, a protegé of Aristide and a former head of state between 1996 and 2001. He draws much of his support from the urban slums and rural areas, although it may not be enough to hit the 50% needed to avoid a second round.
His principal rival is Charles Henri Baker, an industrialist who is supported by more wealthy Haitians. Results are due in a few days time.