AHP reports Preval victory in Haitian elections might be made public at any moment

Haiti news

Agence Haïtienne de Presse

AHP News - February 15, 2006 - English translation (Unofficial)

A Communiqué announcing the victory of the candidate of the Espoir Platform,  René Garcia Préval, in the presidential election of February 7, 2006, is expected to be made public at any moment

Thousands of ballots and election count reports whose origin is unknown arrived Wednesday evening at the vote tabulation center of the CEP.

Port-au-Prince, February 15, 2006 (AHP)- Thousands of signed election tally reports and ballots for the presidential and legislative elections of February 7, 2006 were delivered Wednesday afternoon to the Vote Tabulation Center of the Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) in northern Port-au-Prince.

These ballots, which were filmed inside the tabulation center by the Haitian television station, Channel 11, came notably from polling centers that were operating at the Sainte Trinité School, the Carrefour-Feuilles High School, and in the 3rd communal section of Abricots in the Southwest of the country.

According to a variety of accounts, these documents have been kept for nine days in a secret location while the executive director of the CEP had affirmed that all of the signed election tally reports (procès-verbaux) had been received by the CEP.

These ballots and polling center tally reports arrived at the Tabulation Center amidst a scene of great disorder, as there was no member of the CEP to receive them, and most of them had disappeared from view.

Only a few lower ranking officials were present.

"This is yet another trick", said a source close to the Tabulation Center, confiding to AHP that "Everyone is going to be very worried here from now on because reports suggest that it was a senior manager of the Tabulation Center (a woman) who may have given the order to throw out thousands of ballots and signed election tally reports (a majority of which were marked for Préval) which were discovered in the Truittier district of northern Port-au-Prince.

For many, "this scandal has confirmed the existence of a vast plan to hijack the vote of the majority".

More than 100,000 people demonstrated this Wednesday in front of the National Palace and all along the Champ-de-Mars calling for respect for the vote of February 7, 2006.

Displaying posters of the presidential candidate of the Espoir Platform, René Garcia Préval, as well as posters of ballot boxes containing ballots found at a public garbage dump at Thuitier, the demonstrators chanted slogans hostile to the senior officials of the Provisional Electoral Council, whom they blamed for this confused situation.

At the same time, the Brazilian government, whose troops are leading the UN force in Haiti, indicated Wednesday that there is no reason to organize a second round in the presidential elections and that the decision of the majority must be respected.

For its part, the UN Security Council appealed to the different sectors to respect the commitment they have made to democracy.

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