Monday, February 13, 2006

Election Stuff

Proverbs 29:18 - Where there is no vision the people perish, But happy is he who keeps the law.

(Photo of the little guy in the feeding program from Friday.)
We were feeling totally optimistic about the election. It seemed that there would be a winner from the first round but as is the case here too often, things are changing and not looking as good as we once thought. Even being here it is hard to know what is true and what is inflated but we do know that they have not declared a winner yet. This article gives a little more information. In order to avoid a run-off the leading candidate needs 50% of the votes. Please pray for peace and resolution.

Haiti Support Group 13 February - In results that critics slammed as fraudulent, René Préval, a former president and champion of the poor who is the front-runner in key presidential elections here, appeared last night to have lost the majority he needs to avoid a runoff with his closest rival. Thousands of enraged, slum-dwelling Préval supporters took to the streets of this capital city to blow horns and bang drums in protest as they shouted, "Préval on the first round!" Two members of the provisional electoral council overseeing the count from Tuesday's vote said they believed the results were being manipulated."From the beginning, Jacques Bernard was not interested in a first-round victory," renegade council member Patrick Fequière told Haitian television, referring to the council's director general. Earlier yesterday, Fequière said he believed Préval had received more than 50 percent of the vote. Pierre Richard Duchemin, another electoral council member, told reporters he thought some other council members had "manipulated" the tally and called for an independent investigation.A few days ago Préval, 63, was leading with nearly two-thirds of ballots in early returns, raising expectations of a first-round victory. The voting had been hailed as a landmark step toward planting democracy in the hemisphere's poorest and most troubled nation. The electoral council abruptly postponed a news conference at a posh hotel to announce a final tally last night after protesters amassed outside. Rumors swirled that Bernard would say Préval had 49 percent of the vote, the same lead he'd shown with three-fourths of ballots counted yesterday morning.Speaking to reporters yesterday outside his remote mountain hometown Marmelade, Préval said of that result, "It's magouy," using a Haitian-Creole word for "dirty tricks." A scientific sampling of ballots by a Haitian observation group overseen by the National Endowment for Democracy, a U.S.-funded agency, had shown Préval winning outright in the first round with 54 percent, according to international election sources. With United Nations peacekeepers standing by, some protesters threatened violence unless there was an immediate recount. (Newsday)