Haitians Await Election Results for March's Presidential Runoff
AJC.com is reporting that Haiti waited into the early Thursday hours for election officials to announce who will compete in March's presidential runoff vote, with many fearing that the result could spark widespread protests and rioting. Banks and stores closed early, and people rushed to get home in the capital of Port-au-Prince, fearing unrest after the announcement.
The provisional electoral commission had been scheduled to announce on Wednesday which two of the three front-running candidates from the November presidential ballot would get spots in the runoff. But as midnight passed, the results were still not ready, and a council spokesman asked waiting reporters to be patient. Preliminary results showing government-backed candidate Jude Celestin edging out singer Michel "Sweet Micky" Martelly for second place -- and the final spot in the runoff -- set off violent protests in December. In first place was former first lady Mirlande Manigat.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton flew to Port-au-Prince on Sunday to meet with all three candidates and reaffirm in person to President René Préval that Washington backed an Organization of American States report recommending that Celestin be dropped from the race. But on Tuesday, rumors spread through the capital that the report would be rejected, either with Celestin being put in the next round or the election being canceled altogether.
Is that Erykah Badu we hear singing in the background, because this presidential election is dragging on and on. The process continues to be drama-filled. Haiti needs leadership, and sooner would be much better than later.
Read more at AJC.com.