Monday, February 20, 2006
The Organisation of American States has voiced its support of Haiti's electoral council to declare Rene Preval the winner of the country's presidential elections.
Officials in Haiti reached an agreement to declare Mr Preval president, after a vote marred by claims of irregularities.
The announcement was made after urgent talks between government and electoral officials.
Mr Preval won 51.15 per cent of the votes. Under the reported final agreement, some of the blank ballots were subtracted from the total number of votes counted. This took the new leader over the 50 per cent threshold.
Haiti was also due to choose a 129-member parliament.
But the Preval Presidency has drawn mixed reactions from Haitians. His supporters, mostly from the poor and working class spent a night of jubilation around the Presidential Palace, waiting for the proclamation of their candidate's victory. Mr Preval himself enjoyed his triumph in his native land, Marmalade, by rejoicing in the applause of his close relations and members of his political platform.
But election runner-up Leslie Manigat claimed that Rene Preval imposed his victory in Haiti's presidential election. Manigat is credited with approximately 12 per cent of the votes.
However Haitian provisional authorities led by Prime Minister Gerard Latortue voiced great satisfaction in succeeding in getting the country out of a very difficult situation.
The President's Cabinet director, Michel Brunache, considers the accession of Prval to the presidency, an historic day.