In a silent protest against unrelenting hardship and poverty, Haitians stayed away in huge numbers from Senate and local elections in the poorest country in the Americas. The undeclared boycott of the fifth election in Haiti since a military regime was ousted in 1994 showed a deep disillusionment with the country's politics and frustration that life is getting even more difficult. A low turnout had been expected, but foreign observers were surprised by how few people voted. Reporters visiting polling stations in Cite Soleil in the afternoon were told at one that 10 people had voted all day and at another that only five out of 302 registered voters showed up. Radio reports said it was the same nationwide.