Campaign for the Second Round of the Presidential Election Begins in Haiti

By Dialogo
February 23, 2011

The campaign for the second round of the Haitian presidential election and for the legislative elections scheduled for 20 March officially began on 16 February and will end in slightly over a month, on the eve of the vote.

The candidate who won the most votes in the first round, former first lady Mirlande Manigat, opened her campaign by presenting herself as the opposite of her rival, Michel Martelly.

“This second round is historic; it’s a novelty, and it’s between two people who are nothing like one another,” Manigat declared.

On the same day, Martelly was in Cap-Haïtien, Haiti’s second-largest city, located in the northern part of the country, where he launched his election campaign in the company of singer Wyclef Jean, welcomed by hundreds of young supporters.

Manigat, seventy years old, is an intellectual who was briefly Haiti’s first lady in 1988, during the ephemeral presidency of her husband, Leslie Manigat.

Michel Martelly, fifty years old, is a highly popular singer known by his stage name of “Sweet Micky.”

One of the two will succeed René Préval, who is constitutionally prohibited from seeking a third term.