1/27/11

#Haiti #Elections: How are candidates doing on Twitter?

Number of followers:
Mirlande Manigat @mirlandemanigat 1,661
Michel Martelly @presidentmicky 6,395
Jude Célestin @judecelestin10 199 
Charles-Henri Baker @CharlesHBaker 1,447

Looks like Michel (Sweet Micky) Martelly --who placed second  in the first round according to the OAS -- has gleaned the most followers. This makes sense because he attracted plenty of tech-savvy supporters, including @carelpedre  (18,000 + followers on Twitter) and @karljeanjeune, two twenty-somethings who made a name for themselves by tweeting the earthquake live. @carelpedre and @ramhaiti, both Micky supporters, are also arguably the two Haiti-based Haitians with the most followers on Twitter (18,000 and 15,000 respectively).

With a measly 199 followers, @Judecelestin10's campaign  seems to have underestimated Twitter as a communications tool. Or is it that the candidate of the ruling party simply felt he did not need as much help as the others? Even @CharlesHBaker, who did not place in the top three, has about 5 times as many followers!

Front-runner @mirlandemanigat who is 70 and @charlesHBaker who is in his sixties deserve kudos for  having accounts and have each scored around 1,500 followers.

While Manigat has not posted since Christmas, Sweet Micky has posted steadily this week after a reprieve earlier this month. But neither post as much as Célestin who was asking followers to vote for him even while his INITE party colleagues were not so subtly inviting him to withdraw.

Initial election results placed Manigat first and Célestin second, sending them both to the second round. But allegations of fraud on the part of Célestin's INITE, the party of current President René Préval, caused the OAS to issue a report which placed Martelly, not Célestin in second place.

The Célestin saga reached a peak yesterday when even as foreign embassies were pressuring his party to withdraw his candidacy, he posted the following:



What makes Haitian tweeters laugh at this tweet is that Jude Célestin, not Michel Martelly, is the one currently being "encouraged" to concede by the international community. Just when we were least expecting it, the candidate with the least followers on Twitter started using the tool to flex some unlikely muscle...


But there is more. Today he posted this:


Am I missing something? Does this mean Manigat wins? To be continued.

I have compiled a Haiti candidates Twitter list where you can follow this soap opera blow by blow:

http://twitter.com/#!/kiskeacity/haiti-candidates-2010

And needless to say yours truly will keep tweeting what comes out of the TwitterDjòl at @kiskeacity.





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2 comments:

Chèle Delè said...

It would be interesting to find out of all these twitter followers who can ACTUALLY VOTE in any Haitian elections? Followers are not necessarily voters and not even supporters, in Mickey's case following his tweets could be entertaining...
Twitter and other social media tools would be very useful in a country like Haiti if a decent portion of voters at least had ACCESS to it, otherwise it really reflects the views and whims of Diaspora/ONGyen & ONGyenne (citizens of la République des ONG)/local internet-connected elites...
"I have a dream that someday" digicel, haitel, voilà, etc... will provide low cost data plan/devices that will increase VOTING twitter followers! Maybe I should have written "I like to dream..."

Alice Backer said...

Yes. Agreed that the number of followers is mainly a barometer of a candidate's orientation towards technology.