******Update 9:09 pm
The 6 pm press conference just ended. Mrs. Manigat, former first lady, is ahead with 32% of the vote, and Jude Celestin is in second with 22%. This should put those two in the runoff scheduled for January. It was Martelly, the 3rd place finisher with just 21% (one percent behind Celestin), who had supporters marching and cheering down Delmas last week, so it makes me nervous that his supporters will be very upset with this result. They are only having 2 people in the runoff, as the Constitution says, so Sweet Micky Martelly is out.
It's 5:00 pm. Here's the situation: The announcement of the preliminary results from last week's presidential election are schedule to be released today. They were scheduled to be announced at midnight. School was canceled late yesterday afternoon in anticipation of potential disruptions of some kind. The streets were completely normal, full of marchans, and stores were open all day.
In the last hour, we've heard that the announcement has been changed to 6 pm, one hour from now. The stores are hurriedly closing and the street is packed with people trying to get home.
With over 15 candidates running, it's unlikely that anyone will have won the 50% needed, so the likely announcement today will be which 2 candidates will go on to the runoff, tentatively scheduled for mid-January.
From where we sit (which is decidedly outside the main flow of people and ideas), it seems that the popular support is behind the Martelly (the rapper "Sweet Micky) and Manigat (the former first lady), but that the clear hand-picked successor of the current president (and his relative) is Celestin.
The Constitution says only 2 candidates go to the runoff, so if a) all three are put in a runoff, or b) only two of the aforementioned people go to a runoff, there will be angry people who feel that "their guy (or gal)" is getting jipped. We'll see.
We'll keep you posted. The announcement comes in 53 minutes.