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Haiti: declaration of presidential victor

Haiti: UN mission supports electoral council’s declaration of presidential victor

The head of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) today supported Haiti’s Provisional Electoral Council’s declaration that former President René Préval was the winner of last week’s presidential elections and stressed that the Council’s decision had not been influenced by the mission.

Congratulating the Haitian people for their participation in the elections, MINUSTAH chief Juan Gabriel Valdés and the Organization of American States (OAS) mission chief José Miguel Insulza told a joint news conference in Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince, that neither organization had taken part in the Council’s discussions leading to the declaration.

MINUSTAH was now prepared to assist with the legislative elections for senators and deputies, Mr. Valdés said.

According to Haiti’s electoral calendar, the new President would be sworn in on 29 March.

As thousands of people poured into the streets to celebrate the result, the MINUSTAH Force Commander’s reserve troops, plus other peacekeepers usually deployed in the provinces, were temporarily redeployed to the capital.

Port-au-Prince residents began celebrations as early as 3 a.m, reaching an estimated total of 20,000 people by the afternoon, with around 15,000 of them gathered around the National Palace, MINUSTAH said.

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