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09 February, 2006 - Published 09:55 GMT

Haitian results in next two days

Haitian election officials say they hope to have partial results from Tuesday's presidential and parliamentary elections by late Friday or early Saturday.

Officials said that some ballots had to be collected from remote areas by planes, trucks, and by mule.

UN spokesman, David Wimhurst, also said that partial results should be released soon, but a final tally was not expected until Friday at the earliest.

Unofficial results from the capital, Port-au-Prince, and surrounding areas are giving a substantial lead to Rene Preval, a former ally of ousted president Jean-Bertrand Aristide.

Preval served before as president from 1996 to 2001 and also as prime minister under President Aristide for a short while in 1991.

Haiti re-admitted?

Haiti's immediate neighbours, the Caribbean Community (Caricom), is meeting Thursday and Friday in Trinidad. They will discuss the issue of Haiti's re-admission to the 15-member grouping.

Haiti has been suspended from Caricom membership since the installation of an interim government following the ouster of president Aristide.

Trinidad and Tobago, the current Caricom Chairman, has already offered to push for Haiti's re-admission if elections are shown to be free and fair.

"Nothing would please use more than if the outcome were to be one which could be certified by observers of the international community", Jamaican leader PJ Patterson said in Trinidad ahead of the Thursday meeting.

Since president Aristide's ouster in 2004, Haitian migrants have been seeking asylum in many neighbouring islands in the Caribbean.

Caricom lessons learnt

Caricom sent a small delegation to observe the elections.

Asked about lessons learnt for Haiti's neighbours, Jamaican former election official, Noel Lee, told BBC Caribbean that: "a greater Caricom presence and influence (was needed) in the process."

Albert Ramdin of Suriname told BBC Caribbean: "I congratulate the Haitian people because they have shown their commitment to democracy."