Friday, February 10, 2006

Preval appears to be clear winner in Haitian election

Though initial news reports indicated that no reliable exit polls had been taken and that conclusive results would not be available until Friday at the earliest, reporters are increasingly suggesting that Preval is the clear favorite. Others are suggesting that he may have won over %50 percent of the vote outright, making him president without the need for a runoff election.

Kevin Pina and the other independent journalists of the Haiti Information Project are reporting that their exit polls and initial results show Preval with %63 percent of the vote. It is not clear where their exit polls were conducted. The Miami Herald is also reporting, based on "several individual polling centers -- which post results on their outside walls -- in the capital and the port cities of Gonaves [sic] and St. Marc [that] Préval might win outright.

The Guardian is reporting that
A campaign official said Preval had won almost 68 percent of the 359,000 votes counted so far.

Leslie Manigat, believed to be Preval's strongest rival in the field of nearly three dozen candidates, said early returns showed Preval has surged ahead.

``There is a tiny chance that we will have a second round, but I fear Preval has made a clean sweep of the votes,'' Manigat said.

The real question is will the Haitian elite and their foreign allies that conspired to overthrow Haitian president Jean Bertrand Aristide in February of 2004 allow the Aristide ally Preval to remain in power.

This is a critical moment to mobilize in the United States, Canada, France and other nations in theCaribbeann and around the world to keep a close eye on Haiti and the powerful actors who may attempt to disenfranchise the Haitian people again.

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