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Pop singer Michel Martelly wins Haiti presidency by a landslide

Tuesday, April 5th 2011 - 21:16 UTC
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With no political experience, a huge challenge awaits “Sweet Micky” (Photo EFE) With no political experience, a huge challenge awaits “Sweet Micky” (Photo EFE)

Pop singer Michel Martelly better known as “Sweet Micky”, is Haiti's new president-elect. Preliminary results, released by the country's electoral council yesterday, show that Martelly won 68% of the vote in March 20 run-off election to beat former Haitian first lady, Mirlande Manigat.

The musician has never held political office and has characterized himself as an outsider, ready to change a pattern of corruption in Haiti.

Final results are due to be released April 16.

In a statement Tuesday, OAS Secretary-General Jose Miguel Insulza congratulated the people of Haiti for exercising their civic responsibility in a calm atmosphere, and he saluted their patience as the results were tabulated.

The United States said Haiti's vote was “an important milestone.” The US Embassy in Port-au-Prince is urging Haitians to continue to express themselves peacefully in the hope that all political factions can resolve any outstanding questions about the electoral results.

Martelly has never held political office, and analysts say he has a tough job ahead.

Much of Port-au-Prince is still in ruins from the January 2010 earthquake that killed more than 200,000 people, and hundreds of thousands of Haitians still live in tent camps. A cholera epidemic has killed thousands and the country is rife with poverty and unemployment.

Manigat won the first round of the presidential election in November. Ruling party candidate Jude Celestin initially was declared the second-place finisher and entered in the runoff, but that ruling triggered violent protests by Martelly's supporters.
After reviewing the election, the OAS found fraud had been committed and recommended that Martelly be entered in the second-round vote instead of Celestin.


Categories: Politics, Latin America.

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