Preval declared Haiti poll winner

Rene Preval has been declared president of Haiti, following last week’s vote marred by claims of irregularities. He gained 51% of the vote after the authorities reached a last-minute deal to remove thousands of blank ballot papers from the count. The 7 February vote triggered big rallies by Mr Preval’s supporters, who had alleged widespread vote-rigging.

Runner-up Leslie Manigat called the ruling “the imposition of a victor” and said it was “a reward for violence”. Jubilant crowds have poured into the streets of the capital, Port-au-Prince, to celebrate Mr Preval’s victory.

UN peacekeepers are stepping up security to prevent any rioting by opponents of the winner, reports say. The UN Security Council earlier this week renewed the mandate of its 9,500-strong mission in Haiti for at least another six months.

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