Blank Ballots Decide Haiti Election

Preval to Be Declared Haitian President

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti Feb 16, 2006 (ABC/AP)– Officials of Haiti’s interim government and electoral council announced they have reached agreement to declare front-runner Rene Preval the winner of Haiti’s presidential elections.

“We have reached a solution to the problem,” said Max Mathurin, president of the Provisional Electoral Council. “We feel a huge satisfaction at having liberated the country from a truly difficult situation.”

“We acknowledge the final decision of the electoral council and salute the election of Mr. Rene Preval as president of the republic of Haiti,” Prime Minister Gerard Latortue told the Associated Press in a phone interview.

Thousands of supporters of Haitian presidential candidate Rene Preval march in front of the Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) in Port-au-Prince to demand that Preval be declared president. AFP/Roberto Schmidt

The Feb. 7 election had triggered massive street protests by backers of Preval, who said fraud was being carried out to deprive him of the 50 percent plus one vote needed for a first-round victory. The announcement of the agreement, made in telephone interviews with The Associated Press, came after government and electoral officials met past midnight in electoral council offices.

Apparently a loophole in the constitution was used to come to an agreement, after some 85,000 ballots were found on a dump.

“Preval wins with 51.15 percent,” Michel Brunache, chief of Cabinet for interim President Boniface Alexandre, told the AP after the meeting ended. “On Feb. 7 the people made a choice. It is a historic day.”

Haitian election update

Excellent series of diaries on topic by Arcturus

Security Council calls on Haitians to refrain from electoral violence

UN Press Report 14 February 2006 – Saying it recognized Haiti’s recent elections as a major step towards re-establishing representative governance, the United Nations Security Council today urged all parties to remain calm while the final results of the election are being certified.

Security Council President
Ambassador John Bolton

“The members of the Council express their expectation that the counting of ballots and the remaining steps in the electoral process mandated by Haitian law will continue to be transparent and meet international standards. They strongly urge all parties to respect the results of the election and refrain from violence,” the Council president for February, Ambassador John Bolton of the United States, told journalists.

(Appeal by John Bolton two days ago — let the fraud stand! – Oui)

Ballots found at incinerating facility in Haiti

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (Kyodo) Feb. 16 — A ballot box and papers believed to be ballots themselves yet tallied for the Feb. 7 elections to choose president and parliamentary members are found at an incinerating facility outside Port-au-Prince on Feb. 15.

Close Guantanamo Bay Prison Now! – UN Report

Pakistan Riots Increase with Anti U.S. and Western Sentiment

Pakistani Muslim protesters in Peshawar burn an effigy of US President George W Bush during a demonstration against the publications of the cartoons of Prophet Mohammed. Pakistan braces for new protests against cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed as officials blamed hardline groups for stoking the riots that targeted Western firms and left five people dead AFP/Tariq Mahmood

Abu Ghraib Photos Released by SBS Timeline in Australia

“But I will not let myself be reduced to silence.”

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