- - Monday, December 20, 2010

HAITI

Release of election results delayed

PORT-AU-PRINCE | Haiti’s electoral authorities have delayed publication of final results from the Caribbean country’s disputed November elections while experts from the Organization of American States (OAS) help verify the contested ballot count.

The Provisional Electoral Council said in a statement sent to local media late Sunday that final results from the U.N.-backed Nov. 28 vote would not be released Monday as originally scheduled. It gave no new time frame for the results’ verification or publication.

Violent protests followed the Dec. 7 release of preliminary results from the chaotic presidential and legislative polls, which took place amid a cholera epidemic, widespread voter confusion and multiple fraud allegations.



The Western Hemisphere’s poorest state is still struggling to recover from a devastating January earthquake, and there are fears the unrest will delay the handover of billions of dollars of urgently needed reconstruction funds from foreign donors.

Outgoing President Rene Preval, who is accused by opposition presidential candidates of rigging the vote tally in favor of his protege Jude Celestin, last week asked the OAS to provide technical assistance to verify the disputed results.

BRAZIL

Lula says he might seek office again

SAO PAULO | Brazil’s outgoing president, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, said he might eventually run for president again, a revelation that shakes up Brazilian politics and could weaken his chosen successor, Dilma Rousseff, just two weeks before she takes power.

Mr. Lula da Silva, who will leave office on Jan. 1 with a popularity rating above 80 percent thanks to Brazil’s economic boom, was forbidden by the constitution from running this year for a third consecutive presidential term.

Asked in a TV interview that aired on Monday if he might run again in the future, Mr. Lula da Silva replied: “I can’t say no, because I’m still alive. I’m honorary president of a party, I’m a born politician, I built extraordinary political relationships.”

“We’re going to work for [Mrs. Rousseff] to have a good government, and when the moment arrives, we’ll see what happens,” Mr. Lula da Silva told RedeTV.

Although Mr. Lula da Silva, 65, has never ruled out running again, it was his most explicit statement to date that he could be a candidate again in 2014 or later.

JAMAICA

Jamaicans using Creole Gospel

KINGSTON | During Sunday church services and private celebrations in Jamaica, Christmas week prayers are being flavored with the first patois version of a familiar biblical account of Jesus’ birth.

Based on the conviction that Scripture is best understood in a person’s spoken tongue, the Caribbean island’s Bible society has started a new holiday tradition with audio and written versions of the Gospel of Luke in patois, or Creole - Jamaica’s unofficial language.

Proponents of the patois versions of Luke argue that because many Jamaicans have difficulty understanding standard English, it is wrong to have the holy book of this overwhelmingly Christian nation only in a “foreign” tongue.

A patois translation of the entire New Testament is expected in August 2012, to coincide with the 50th anniversary of Jamaica’s independence.

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