Rene Preval has been declared the winner of last week’s presidential poll in Haiti, after an election marred by claims of voting irregularities. Diplomatic sources say it is part of an agreement reached early this morning by leaders of the country’s interim government to recalculate votes.
According to election officials, Preval, who was a close ally of deposed President Jean Baptiste-Aristide, has now been judged to have won 51.1 percent of the vote. He claimed “massive fraud” had been carried out after thousands of burned ballots were discovered in a garbage dump. Haiti’s interim authorities had previously blocked publication of the results after bowing to Preval’s demand for a fraud inquiry. Blank votes amounted to nearly five percent of the total and reduced the final percentage allocated to each candidate.