Haiti Announces Run-Off Candidates; Martelly In, Célestin Out

A poster for Haitian presidential candidate Michel Martelly.
A poster for Haitian presidential candidate Michel Martelly.
A poster for Haitian presidential candidate Michel Martelly.

Today in Latin America

Top Story — Election officials in Haiti announced that the two candidates in upcoming run-off elections will be popular singer Michel Sweet “Micky” Martelly and former first lady Mirlande Manigat.

It was ruled on early Thursday that Martelly, not the government-backed candidate Jude Célestin, will be on the ballots to replace current President René Preval.

The decision was made as 100 journalists waited inside a defunct Gold’s Gym in Petionville as officials deliberated for more than 10 hours. At 7:34 a.m. elections spokesman Richardson Dumel announced the two candidates in the run-off.

The announcement followed the recommendation of the Organization of American States, whose analysis found widespread fraud, missing votes and altered tallies that put Célestin ahead of Martelly in the run-off.

The news of the run-off was met with praise from many in the international community who have been closely watching the election saga unfold.

“It’s a good day in Haiti today, again,” said U.S. ambassador to Haiti, Kenneth Merten, according to AFP. “I firmly believe that, we get the political situation back on track in terms of an elected, legitimately elected president and parliament, I think that will bring a feeling of stability to the country.”

The recent political uncertainty has added to Haiti’s problems as it tries to recover from last year’s devastating earthquake as well as a cholera outbreak. Adding to this was the return of former dictator Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier.

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    Southern Cone

    Image: WikiCommons.

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