Popular singer Martelly elected as President of Haiti

April 5th, 2011 - 9:57 pm ICT by BNO News  

PORT-AU-PRINCE, HAITI (BNO NEWS) — Popular singer Joseph Michel Martelly on Monday was elected as the new President of Haiti after winning the run-off election, Le Nouvelliste newspaper reported on Tuesday.

The 50-year-old pop singer received 67.57 percent of the votes while his opposition, former first lady Mirlande Manigat, gained only 31.74 percent. The preliminary results were announced by the Provisional Electoral Council (CEP).

The official results will be announced on April 16. The singer will become the 56th President of the Caribbean island nation. Hundreds of Martelly’s supporters celebrated the victory in the streets.

The newly-elected president is scheduled to take office on May 14 after the final voting results are disclosed. The run-off election was held in March 20 in order to choose a successor to President René Préval.

The United Nations peacekeeping mission in Haiti helped observing the run-off and concluded that the polls were held in considerably better conditions than the first round, which was held on November 28.

The first round of the presidential and legislative elections resulted in Martelly’s elimination from the run-off and Jude Celestin, the candidate backed by Préval, included in it.

After two months of post-election crisis Haiti’s CEP decided to eliminate Celestin from the race after following the recommendations of the Organization of American States (OAS).

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon congratulated the Haitian people for exercising their right to elect their next president but remarked that Martelly will have the enormous task of rebuilding a country struck by a devastating earthquake and a cholera epidemic last year.

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