PORT-AU-PRINCE — The announcement of Haiti’s provisional presidential election results has been delayed by four days and will now take place on Monday, the electoral commission said.
Both former first lady Mirlande Manigat, 70, and popular singer Michel Martelly, 50, have expressed confidence of their showing in the March 20 run-off. Final results are not expected until April 16.
The candidates are vying for the job of rebuilding a Caribbean nation that was devastated by a January 2010 earthquake that flattened the capital Port-au-Prince at the cost of more than 225,000 lives.
Initial tally sheets from dozens of voting stations in key urban areas indicated that Martelly was on course to win if the trend continued, but Manigat believes her support in the heartlands outside the capital will see her triumph.
“We are warning against partial results coming from a few voting stations,” she told AFP two days after the election.
Both candidates have been ordered by the country’s election commission to wait for final results before making any unilateral claims of victory.
Fears the polls, delayed for months by bickering over a violence-plagued first round in November, would be overshadowed by the return from exile in South Africa of charismatic ex-president Jean-Bertrand Aristide proved unfounded.
Aristide endorsed neither candidate and did little to interfere with the delicate political situation in a Caribbean nation whose recent past has been scarred by dictatorship and upheaval.
Authorities said two people had been killed in election-related violence, but in most parts of Haiti voting went ahead calmly.
Pre-election opinion polls showed Martelly enjoying a lead over the soft-spoken Manigat, an academic and long-time opposition figure whose husband was president in 1988 for a few months before being ousted by a coup.
Voting problems were minor compared to November when polling stations were trashed and the whole process deteriorated into a farce when most of the candidates called for a re-run even before the polls had closed.
At least five people were killed in December when days of rioting erupted at the news that Martelly had finished third behind ruling party candidate Jude Celestin and would not make the run-off.
After weeks of US-led pressure and a review by international monitors, Martelly was eventually reinstated at the expense of Celestin, who was seen as current President Rene Preval’s handpicked successor.
We are seeing the results of an International Community effort to block Martelly, no matter what.
They really want Manigat and were devastated by the 80% popularity of Martelly against the colorless, unpopular Manigat. They were all stupid enough to be taken in by the false Boulos popularity polls, run under his banner of President of Haiti’s Chamber of Commerce. This gave the polls credibility, when they really had no credibility at all.
People of Haiti should remember Boulos for his crimes, after the election is decided.
And his medical supplies have once again poisoned Haiti’s children.
Enough is enough! He must lose his impunity, and other things.
In any event, people believed the propaganda and actually expected Manigat, with a real popularity of 4.5% to magically become a real candidate, with voter appeal. She has the voter appeal of a dead dog! Like her husband before her, Mirlande Manigat was chosen as a presidential candidate because she had no popularity and could be controlled.
EVERYONE FORGETS THAT MIRLANDE MANIGAT WAS/IS PREVAL’S CHOSEN CANDIDATE, TO BE CONTROLLED BY HIM AND INITE!!!
WAKE UP AND SMELL THE ROSES.
IF MANIGAT CANNOT STEAL THE ELECTION THE VOTE WILL BE CANCELLED AND PREVAL WILL STAY IN OFFICE ON INTO THE FUTURE!!
REMEMBER JANUARY 1999!!