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Haiti elects new president


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Haiti elects new president

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Provisional results suggest Jovenel Moise has won the presidential election in Haiti.

The political novice has won a majority in the first round, avoiding a second round runoff, according to the country’s election council.




What has the election council said?




Moise won 55.67 percent of the vote in the November 20th election.

His closest rival, Jude Celestin, polled 19.52 percent.

12 percent of the voting slips were set aside because of irregularities and were not included in the count, the council said.



Who is Moise Jovenel?



He was the chosen successor to former President Michel Martelly, a singer.

A political unknown before last year, Moise also came first in the October 2015 vote.

The result triggered protests and claims of fraud from opponents.

The 48-year-old is a successful businessman, running a banana export company he sees as a model for rural development.

As president, his task will be to revive Haiti’s economy and rebuild that country as it recovers from a devastating earthquake in 2010, as well as Hurricane Matthew.




Unrest



The results follow a week of protests and unrest led by supporters of former president Jean-Bertrand Aristide’s Fanmi Lavalas Party.

The party claimed victory for its candidate, Maryse Narcisse, soon after the election.

Interim president Jocelerme Privert called for calm in an address before the results were released.

He also said the political uncertainty of the past year had compromised economic and political development.




The background



The election was a repeat of a vote originally held in October 2015.

It was overturned after allegations of fraud.

The vote was scheduled for October the 9th, but was postponed again after the Category 4 Hurricane Matthew tore through the Caribbean nation.

An estimated 1,000 people were killed and 1.4 million were left needing humanitarian assistance.

Election results are slow to be released in Haiti because votes are hand counted.

Transport in the country is unreliable and was made worse by Hurricane Matthew, which tore up most of the south.



What they are saying



“We want to salute the maturity of the Haitian people,” – Leopold Berlanger, president of the election council.

“When we spend 55 million dollars to have elections, that is 55 kilometres of roads that we cannot construct, 55 high schools that we cannot construct. That is 110 lower-grade schools that we cannot construct,” – Jocelerme Privert



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