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Michel Martelly officially declared Haitian president

21 April 11 18:43
Michel Martelly on 21 April 2011

Popular Haitian singer Michel Martelly has been officially declared the next president of Haiti.

Official results showed Mr Martelly won 67.6% of the vote in the run-off on 20 March, defeating former first lady Mirlande Manigat.

Speaking after the results were made public, Mr Martelly said he would seek to work in harmony with the opposition, following an election marred by violent protests and accusations of fraud.

He will take office on 14 May.

Deadly protests

Just hours after he was declared the winner, Mr Martelly tried to rally support through his Twitter account.

"Let's pick up our tools and get to work to clean up our country," he tweeted.

But despite Mr Martelly's calls for unity, there have been several violent incidents in a number of Haitian cities.

A spokesman for the United Nations police force, which patrols much of Haiti, said demonstrators had set fire to a government building in Belladere in central Haiti.

Protests also took place in Leogane, south of Port-au-Prince. At least one person is reported to have been killed.

The protests followed the release by the electoral commission of some results of the legislative elections, which were held on the same day as the presidential run-off.

The results suggest that outgoing President Rene Preval's ruling INITE (Unity) party will remain the dominant force in the Haitian legislature, although it seems to have lost its parliamentary majority.

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