Martelly Wins Haiti Presidency

Preliminary results show he took 68% against Mirlande Manigat
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 4, 2011 7:15 PM CDT
Michel Martelly Wins Haiti Presidency
FILE - In this March 11, 2011 file photo, Haiti's presidential candidate Michel Martelly poses for a photo with supporters at a campaign rally in Gonaives, Haiti. According to electoral officials on April 4, preliminary results show Martelly won the presidential election, defeating former first lady...   (Ramon Espinosa)

(Newser) – Musician Michel "Sweet Micky" Martelly scored a come-from-behind victory today in Haiti's presidential runoff, according to preliminary results from last month's election. Martelly, who has never held political office, received nearly 68% of the vote in the two-way race with Mirlande Manigat, electoral council spokesman Pierre Thibault said in an announcement that was immediately followed by noisy celebration in Port-au-Prince.

Martelly promised profound change for Haiti, vowing to provide free education in a country where more than half the children can't afford school and to create economic opportunity amid almost universal unemployment. "I'm going to celebrate with the people, then I'm going home to my kids," said a 32-year-old street vendor, as fireworks erupted around him. Final results are due April 16. (Read more Haiti stories.)

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