Haiti election candidate Michel Martelly urges calm

December 8, 2010
By `

BBC:Haitian presidential election candidate, Michel Martelly, who narrowly missed a spot in the second round run-off, has called for calm amid mass protests by his supporters.

Mr Martelly said his supporters should only hold nonviolent protests and urged them not to rise to provocations.

Demonstrators have set fire to the headquarters of Haiti’s governing party.

They accuse it of rigging the vote in favour of its candidate, Jude Celestin.

Speaking on Haitian radio, Mr Martelly said: “I understand your anger. Protesting without violence is a right of the people… I will be with you until there is total victory.”

The pop star said the “Provisional Electoral Council has plunged the country into crisis with its incorrect results”, which were announced on Tuesday.

“The international community, the national and international observers, recognise that these results are not right,” he said.

Thousands of people have taken to the streets of the capital, Port-au-Prince, since Mr Celestin was declared to have finished in second place narrowly ahead of Mr Martelly.

Demonstrations erupted there and in several cities soon after the results were announced, and President Rene Preval called for an end to the protests in a national address.

Shooting reported

In the capital, supporters of Mr Martelly started fires and set up barricades on Tuesday.

Thousands of young people resumed the protests across the country on Wednesday.

Witnesses described flames leaping from the headquarters of the governing Inite (Unite) coalition in the capital after it was set alight.

Protesters told the Associated Press news agency that security guards had shot demonstrators as they attacked the building, but there were no confirmed reports of injuries.

“The people came out to vote for Martelly because [leading candidate Mirlande] Manigat and Celestin are not going to sort anything out. Martelly was ahead and they have stolen the elections,” one protester said.

Reports said that one protester was shot dead and two others were wounded as supporters of Mr Martelly and Mr Celestin brawled with each other in the second city, Cap Haitien.

Officials have not yet confirmed numbers of casualties.

Mr Celestin is regarded as Mr Preval’s hand-picked successor, and the incumbent defended the election result in his national radio address.

But he urged Mr Celestin and Mr Martelly to ask their supporters to call off the protests.

Results ‘inconsistent’

Most observers say the first round of the voting was grossly mismanaged.

Former first lady Mirlande Manigat won 31% of the vote and Mr Celestin 22%. Mr Martelly polled just over 21% – about 6,800 votes short of Mr Celestin.

The US embassy in Haiti said on Tuesday it was concerned the results were “inconsistent” with vote counts observed around the country.

The close result has led to calls that Mr Martelly also be included in the run-off.

Mr Martelly has said he will not accept a place in the run-off if Mr Celestin is present. He has until 10 December to appeal against the result.

2 Responses to “ Haiti election candidate Michel Martelly urges calm ”

  1. jean on December 9, 2010 at

    bon si MIky fe mem baby la tou nou pa konen paske se tankou you move lespri ki nan bwat leta yo ke fe ke depi neg la pran pouvwa se vole,se piye se kitemele boudal ak moun kap mouri gtangu,touni, amba tant,ak kolera ou kelkeswa poblem yo, men pou le moman mwen panse ke Haiti bezwen you mou nef.ki pat jam gen men li trampe nan lajan peyi ya ka bamboche depi des dizaine de lane.
    te kale ya samble you neg ki kwe nan peyi li se sa ki fe ke li rete viv ladan li penda se ta tout lot moun ap kouri pou Haiti.mwen panse ke miki gen you bon plan e ke li pral chache Haityen kalifye sou tout ka kwen mond lan pou mete men ansam avel pou elimine vakabon sa yo nan zafe politik en haiti komanse sou premye minist ak fini sou delgue gouvenman vole saa ke nou gen jodi ya ki vle kole nan gagan pep la you lot ki pi vole toujou avrk pase kriminel et tout sa noou konen de li komanse sou move examp moral ak latriye. mezami nom se 17 pitit li genyen wi ak plisye fam.kote sa pep la pral pran kom presidan la?il faut batte le fer pendant qu il est chaud, mwen pense ke pep la dwe rete vijilan jiskaske preval rache manyok li bay peyi paske li make figi tout moun ak fo rezilta li yo kote li prepare teren yan ak inite nan tou kat kwen teritwa nasyonal yo malgere tout moun ap pale li pa tande,paske ogey haityen li monte nan tet li kom kwa li se met Haiti.e ben an nou we fwa saa si pep haityen kon pran presyou zam fan fwa.vote tet kale.madan maigat fe alyans ak preval se you lo van peyi li ye. et pi pa bliye patisipasyou mari li sou Duvalier

  2. rocene ambroise on December 9, 2010 at

    i think preval need to leave the country is not belong nan peyi any more we dont need celetine for country martely is feature for haiti all the poeple need to stop violent we can manicate par graze si vouple nou konnen ki sa nou vle mercy