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UN urges Haitians to remain calm, await results

UN urges calm as supporters of Haitian presidential candidate claim victory

The United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) urged Haitians to remain calm and await final election results, as supporters of leading presidential candidate Rene Preval demonstrated on the streets of Port-au-Prince for the third consecutive day, demanding he be declared winner.

MINUSTAH said that demonstrators have erected roadblocks in several parts of the capital, and UN-formed police units have been deployed to manage the demonstrations, adding that they have not become particularly violent at this stage, although they have managed to disrupt the functioning of the city.

The latest results announced by Haiti’s provisional electoral council, known by its French acronym CEP, show that 90 per cent of the election tally sheets have been tabulated, but 1,000 tally sheets have yet to be entered into the system.

Preval leads the tally with 48 per cent of the vote that has been counted so far, according to the CEP.

The Council said final results won’t be available until all sheets are tabulated, which it predicts will happen either today or tomorrow.

If needed, a second round of elections will be held on 19 March, the new President sworn in on 29 March and municipal and local elections will be held on 30 April.

Last Tuesday’s election was the first nationwide exercise in voting since an insurgency forced elected President Jean-Bertrand Aristide into exile two years ago, as Haiti celebrated the 200th anniversary of its independence from France.

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