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Préval declared winner

Travel & news discussion about Haiti

Préval declared winner

Postby KarenS » Thu Feb 16, 2006 7:53 am

As reported in the New York Times: "PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, Feb. 15 — The front-runner in last week's presidential election will be declared the winner as part of an agreement by leaders of Haiti's interim government to retabulate the votes, a high-ranking official of the Organization of American States said Wednesday night.

Haitians on Wednesday picked through ballots from last week's presidential election that were found Tuesday night in a dump north of Port-au-Prince.
The agreement, to be announced Thursday, is a result of negotiations by the front-runner, René Préval, government officials, foreign diplomats and international observers, including the Organization of American States. Details were still being worked out, and a United Nations official cautioned that the deal could still fall apart.

The official from the Organization of American States, who insisted on anonymity because of the fragile nature of the agreement, said that loopholes in Haitian electoral law allow the government to discard an estimated 85,000 blank ballots included in the original tally. By excluding them, Mr. Préval's lead would increase from 48.7 percent of the votes to slightly more than 51 percent.

Under election rules, the winner needs 50 percent plus one vote to avoid a run-off.

An adviser to Mr. Préval, who confirmed the agreement, said that electoral authorities had indicated they began recovering a large number of missing ballots that were believed destroyed or stolen, and that those ballots, estimated at 8 percent of all ballots cast, were overwhelmingly in Mr. Preval's favor.

Mr. Préval, 63, an agronomist, previously served as president from 1996 to 2001.

The agreement was forged after marathon negotiations among leaders of Mr. Préval's Lespwa Party, the interim government, the Provisional Electoral Council, the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti, the O.A.S. and ambassadors from the United States, France, Canada, Brazil and Chile. The talks started Monday, after early tallies indicated Mr. Préval would not win enough votes to avoid a runoff, and his supporters paralyzed cities across the country with protests and flaming barricades."

For the whole article go to: ... &th&emc=th
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