Monday, February 13, 2006

Haiti Election Update

In a bizarre move, BBC has gone back to linking its earlier story on the Haitian election "Ex-Aristide ally leads Haiti poll" from its main news page. In contrast to the BBC story up last night "Haiti Poll May Go to Second Round," BBC is now saying no more than "Initial results from around the Haitian capital show he has more than 60% of the votes, electoral officials say."

Miami Herald
on the other hand is now reporting
On Saturday, the official tally gave him 49.6 percent of the votes, with 72 percent of the stations counted. But foreign electoral officials said an independent survey showed Préval received 54 percent of the vote, although the survey has yet to be adjusted for blank ballots, which could reduce each candidate's percentage points slightly.

According to the Ezili Danto Witness Reporting Project associated with the Haitian Lawyers Leadership Network reports "It is reported that Preval had 49.6% with 72% of the votes counted. But, Fequiere, another member of the CEP, disagrees with these figures released by Bernard of the CEP and maintains Preval already has the absolute majority."

While it is hard to authenticate this claim, the Haitian Lawyers Leadership Network has been doing very good work and has a very good reputation. A representative of the group was interviewed on CBC and completely and effectively countered the interviewer on all of her false assumptions on Haiti until the interviewer said "Ok. I admit that I misspoke, but let's move on." The interview is available online here. The first guest is a representative of the pro-coup so-called "Haiti Democracy Project." The interesting thing about that half of the interview for me is, though I strongly disagreed with much of what that representative was saying, I still found the quality of the interview as news MUCH better than anything available in Maryland (I suspect Miami and perhaps Boston or New York stations may have higher quality reporting because of the large Haitian population there.)

Ezili Danto representatives are speculating that the contradicting reports might be due to what the New York Times calls "mixed signals" towards Haiti about democracy by the U.S. and other governments. The implication is that the Haitian elite are refusing to recognize another democractically elected president from the Lavalas movement because up until now they have been allowed and at times encouraged to overthrow leaders found unsympathetic to the interests of the U.S. and local and international capital. The Miami Herald reports on the Haitian elite today in a story called "Win for Preval would be Stunning Defeat for Haitian Elite."

No comments :