Haitian presidential candidate Martelly "satisfied" with runoff
Mar 22, 2011, 18:49 GMT
Port-au-Prince - Haitian presidential candidate Michel Martelly said Tuesday that he is 'satisfied' with the second round of voting, which pitted him against former first lady Mirlande Manigat.
'We are satisfied with the course of the electoral process,' popular singer Martelly said in a statement.
'Haitian citizens, without exclusions, have voted in total calm and in large numbers,' he said.
Preliminary official results are expected to be made public on March 31, with final results on April 16, Haitian authorities have said.
Haitian media have reported, based on their exit polls, that Martelly defeated Manigat in Sunday's runoff, and the artist himself admitted that he felt 'very comfortable' as he awaited results.
Martelly predicted that the second round of this presidential election will 'go down in history as the birth certificate of Haitian democracy.'
The preliminary official results of the first round, held on November 28, placed Manigat first and pitted her against runner-up ruling party candidate Jude Celestin in the runoff. But the results were contradicted by reliable exit polls which put Martelly in second place, leading to fraud allegations and violence on the streets which claimed several lives and left scores injured.
Under pressure from the international community, Celestin eventually withdrew, and Martelly took his place in the runoff.
Martelly, 50, is very popular thanks to a long career in music, but also due to the fact that he is perceived as an outsider in politics.
He had called upon his supporters to go out onto the streets to celebrate what he saw as a sure triumph in the runoff. However, he heeded warnings from local authorities and international observers alike and cancelled the rallies. According to Haitian election law, such demonstrations are forbidden until final results are known.
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