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Haitian Ex-President Preval Leads in Early Vote Counting
2006-2-9 10:27:29

(Haitian presidential candidate Rene Preval listens to his hometown band in the town of Marmelade, Haiti on Wednesday Feb., 8, 2006. Photo: AP )

Former Haitian President is currently leading the vote count after the presidential elections on Tuesday, according to documents published Wednesday by Haiti's Provisional Election Council (CEP) and international observers.

Preval's campaign team is claiming that Preval, a favorite in pre-election polls, has won more than 56 percent of votes in the capital and more than 40 percent in other major regions.

If the trend holds good, experts reckon that Haiti will not need a second round to elect its first democratic president since the overthrow of Jean Bertrand Aristide in February 2004.

In parts of Cite Soleil, a slum in the capital, people have already begun celebrating a Preval victory. Cite Soleil residents, mostly Ariside supporters, have transferred their allegiance to Preval.

However, in a joint press conference on Wednesday, Jose Miguel Insulza, secretary-general of the Organization of American States, together with officials from the United Nations Mission for the Stabilization of Haiti and CEP officials reminded Haitians that there were still a large number of votes to be counted before a final result can be announced.

They also praised Haitians for their good citizenship in the elections.

Officials said that around 70 percent of Haiti's 3.5 million electorate cast their ballots, making Tuesday's elections the most supported one in the last 20 years.

Haitians were to elect the president, 30 senators and 99 deputies in the elections. To win outright, a presidential candidate has to win more than 50 percent of the votes.

Results of the elections were not expected before Friday.

Four people were killed and another 20 people injured in incidents on the election day, but Haiti returned to normal on Wednesday.

(Source: Xinhua)
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