Caricom hails victory of Haiti's Preval
Sunday, February 19th 2006
The Caribbean Community (Caricom) has hailed the victory of Rene Preval as Haiti's new President, and looks forward to his participation in the forthcoming annual summit meeting of Heads of Government in July in St Kitts.
Preval, an agronomist by profession, who had served a previous full five-year term as President, was last Wednesday officially declared winner of the February 7 presidential election for whichÂ there was a total of 33 candidates.
A redistribution of some 85,000 blank ballots among the candidates, based proportionately on what had earlier been declared valid in their favour, gave Preval the required 51 per cent for victory. That made it unnecessaryÂ to face a run-off next month with his nearest rival, Leslie Manigat, who secured about 12 per cent of the overall the results.
In a statement yesterday Caricom said it had received "official communication" from interimÂ government in Port-au-Prince of Prime MinisterÂ Gerard Latortue of Preval's declared victory as President- designate.
Caricom saidÂ "it is in the interest of all Haitians to respect the outcome of the Presidential elections in keeping with the norms of theÂ democratic process. The Community also calls on all involved in the ongoing process to do everythingÂ necessary to enhance and preserveÂ its credibility".
Preval was President of Haiti when his countryÂ was granted provisional membership of Caricom in July 1997Â at a thenÂ annual summit in Kingston, Jamaica.
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