News from Haiti

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Preval Drops Below 50 Percent in Haiti Vote: Partial Results

Port-au-Prince, Sunday, 12 February 2006. Rene Preval dropped below the 50 percent needed to avert a second-round presidential vote in Haiti, according to partial results released Saturday.

But Preval held a strong lead with 49.6 percent of the vote, based on 72 percent of ballots tallied from Tuesday's election. While the partial results placed Preval just under the majority needed to avert a second round against his main rival, the former president maintained a 38 percent lead over second placed Leslie Manigat.Manigat, also an ex-president, garnered 11 percent, followed by industrialist Charles Henri Baker, with 8.1 percent, the Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) announced at a news conference.

The tabulation of the ballots from Tuesday's presidential and legislative elections was scheduled to continue through the night, said CEP director Jacques Bernard.Several thousand people took to the streets of Port-au-Prince Saturday in celebratory marches, insisting Preval had already won and demanding final results be announced swiftly.