News from Haiti

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Preval says he won Haitian election

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, February 14, 2006; 12:26 PM (Reuters) - Former President Rene Preval said on Tuesday he won last week's election outright and urged Haitian elections officials to hold off publishing final election results because of possible fraud.

"We are sure of having won in the first round," Preval said in his first significant comments on the election results in the week since the vote

"If they publish these results as they are, we will contest them and if Lespwa (his political movement) contests them, the Haitian people will contest them," Preval said at a news conference a day after tens of thousands of his supporters paralyzed the capital with flaming barricades and street protests, demanding he be declared the victor.

Preval, a one-time ally of deposed leader Jean-Bertrand Aristide had 48.7 percent at last report. He won the first round easily but his supporters and some elections officials said the count was being manipulated to prevent him from taking the office without a run-off. He needed 50 percent plus one vote for an outright win.