U.N. Asks Haiti To Ignore Unofficial Elections Results; Cholera Death Toll Tops 1,800
December 2, 2010 By Staff
Today in Latin America
Top Story — The United Nations has asked Haitians to ignore unofficial results from the country’s contested elections over the weekend and wait until next week for the official results.
Haiti’s presidential and legislative elections Sunday were extremely chaotic, with two-thirds of the 18 presidential candidates saying the results should be tossed because the whole process was fraudulent.
“The Provisional Electoral Council should be granted the time and political stability needed to complete its work, the results of which will then be subject to any eventual dispute from candidates, political parties and the Haitian people through legal procedures for settling the issue,” the U.N. Stabilization Mission in Haiti said in a release Tuesday night, according to UPI.
The U.N. also asked donors for an additional $864.1 million to cover the cost of the peacekeeping stabilization force on the island through the end of June 2011. It has already spent more than $732 million on peacekeeping efforts in the country, which in the last year has been devastated by an earthquake and is now in the middle of a cholera epidemic.
The death toll in Haiti’s cholera outbreak reached 1,800 lives this week, according to the country’s health minister. 34,937 infected people have recovered from the water-born disease after receiving treatment at hospitals, but more than a quarter of the fatalities died before getting medical attention.
1, 200 people are still hospitalized with the illness, with the in-hospital fatality rate for the entire country sitting at 3.6 percent and at 4.5 percent in the capital of Port-au-Prince.
Security restrictions surrounding Haiti’s elections impacted the cholera response in some areas, The United Nations said.
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Headlines from the Western Hemisphere
- United States transportation officials upgraded Mexico’s aviation-safety rating Wednesday, saying the country has demonstrated “significant progress” in correcting earlier regulatory lapses.
- Residents of Ciudad Mier, Mexico began to return home this week, a month after the town was nearly emptied by warring drug cartels.
- Madonna’s new “Hard Candy Fitness” gym in Mexico City lacks proper permits to operate. The gym obtained a permit for its inauguration party held on Monday night, but has no other permits necessary to open.
- The leaders of Cuba’s two main Jewish groups both denied having worked with a jailed American contractor whose family says he was on the island to hand out communication equipment to Jewish organizations.
- Cuba has launched a public debate on plans to transform its socialist economy by reducing the role of the state and boosting private enterprise.
- A leaked memo by a U.S. ambassador to Haiti said President Rene Preval’s primary concern ahead of last weekend’s election for his successor was to ensure the winner would not force him into exile.
- The United Nations Wednesday urged Haitians to ignore unofficial results from the country’s elections and wait for the official tally to be announced next week.
- After months of uncertainty, the way has been cleared for U.S. families to adopt 12 Haitian children who’ve been living at a Roman Catholic institution near Pittsburgh since a chaotic airlift that followed the devastating earthquake in January.
- A Colorado branch of a Miami-based shipping company is under investigation after guns bound for Guatemala were found in one of its trucks.
- President Daniel Ortega has asked Nicaraguan lawmakers to pass emergency laws to give him greater power to mobilize troops, amid a surge in tensions over a border row with Costa Rica.
- Dozens of Venezuelans left homeless by torrential rains can remain at the presidential palace until the government finds them new homes, President Hugo Chávez said Wednesday as the death toll from flooding and mudslides reached 25.
- Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa said Tuesday night that his country has not invited WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange for a visit, as was widely reported.
- Peru’s banks say a new rule tucked into the country’s universal healthcare law would slow their growth by requiring everyone applying for a loan to show they have health insurance.
- A former United States ambassador claims in a leaked cable that Brazil’s concern over its sovereignty in the Amazon region veered into “paranoia.”
- A leaked U.S. diplomatic cable said that Argentine President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner was “submissive” to her powerful late-husband, Nestor Kirchner.
- A Chilean prosecutor urged a court on Wednesday to dismiss criminal accusations against a Pakistani man, who was arrested when traces of explosives were found on his bag when he entered the U.S. Embassy in May.
- Argentina and Paraguay are refusing to cooperate in the production of a movie starring Tom Hanks that focuses on a border region between the two countries and Brazil that is allegedly a center for terror financing.
- Uruguay’s Senate approved the country’s entry into the Union of South American Nations (Unasur), making it the ninth country in the 12-nation bloc to ratify the treaty.
Image: United Nations Photo @ Flickr.