Haiti vote result goes unchallenged

2011-04-08 10:26

Port-au-Prince - The apparent loser in the second-round presidential runoff in Haiti, former first lady Mirlande Manigat, said on Thursday she would not challenge the results that give the office to Michel Martelly.

"No, I will not challenge the election, but we will have protests," Manigat said days after preliminary results showed Martelly getting about 67% of the vote.

Haitian authorities allow 72 hours, which expired on Thursday, for a challenge. No complaint had been filed with election officials.

Final results are expected on April 16 and the new president is to take office on May 14.

Martelly has promised a "new era" for Haiti, but his landslide election victory looked like the easy part as a host of difficulties lay ahead.

The 50-year-old former carnival entertainer and pop singer, known as "Sweet Micky" or Tet Kale (Bald Head), lit up the campaign, seizing the mantle of change and capturing the imagination of Haiti's frustrated urban youth.

But the political novice, who was disrobing on stage as a bawdy entertainer only a short time ago, has many a minefield to navigate if he is to match soaring rhetoric with the real change Haiti so desperately needs.