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UN welcomes calm atmosphere as initial results of Haitian elections are released

UN welcomes calm atmosphere as initial results of Haitian elections are released

A billboard for Michel Martelly
The United Nations peacekeeping operation in Haiti today welcomed the release of the preliminary results of the country’s presidential and legislative elections and urged Haitians to continue to show patience and calm in the lead-up to the release of final results.

The popular musician Michel Martelly defeated former first lady Mirlande Manigat in last month’s run-off round of the presidential race, according to figures released yesterday by Haiti’s Provisional Electoral Council.

The UN mission (MINUSTAH) issued a press statement in which it “salutes the fact that Haitian political actors welcomed this announcement with maturity, demonstrating their wish to respect the voice of the people and the democratic process.”

A mission spokesperson told the UN News Centre that the streets of the capital, Port-au-Prince, have been relatively calm since the announcement of the results, with no major incidents reported so far.

Violence erupted last December after supporters of Mr. Martelly challenged the initial results of the first round of the presidential election, which placed him third – and therefore out of the run-off round – behind Ms. Manigat and another candidate, Jude Celestin.

The Provisional Electoral Council re-examined the ballots and amended the results, placing Mr. Martelly second to Ms. Manigat in the first round.

In today’s statement, MINUSTAH praised Haitians for showing so much patience and calm in recent weeks and urged them to continue to do so when the final results are released on 18 April.

The mission added that any candidates in the presidential or legislative elections who dispute the preliminary results should pursue their claims in line with the provisions of Haiti’s electoral laws.

Haitians went to the polls after a year in which they were battered by a massive earthquake that killed more than 200,000 people and left at least 2.3 million others homeless. A subsequent cholera epidemic killed another 4,000 people.