Martelly is Haiti election winner: official

2011-04-04 23:15

Port-au-Prince - Singer Michel Martelly is the winner of Haiti's presidential election, beating former first lady Mirlande Manigat, according to official preliminary results, says a senior electoral council official.

The official at the Provisional Electoral Council, who asked not to be named, said: "Martelly won."

He spoke ahead of a public announcement due later on Monday to give the eagerly awaited first results from the March 20 run-off vote in the poor, volatile Caribbean state.

Martelly, who has no previous government experience, had preached a forceful message of change, pledging to break with decades of past corruption and misrule in Haiti.

Anxious anticipation tinged with fears of violence had gripped the country since the preliminary results announcement was delayed from last week because of reported high levels of fraud.

The presidential contest had been an intriguing contrast of styles and personalities between extroverted entertainer Michel "Sweet Micky" Martelly, 50, a political newcomer, and experienced law professor and former senator Manigat, who is 70.

Polls before the run-off had shown Martelly as favourite.

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