How Rene Preval won Haiti's presidential elections

A week after Haiti's Feb. 7 presidential elections, former president Rene Preval led with 48.76 percent of the vote just shy of the 50 percent plus one vote needed to avoid a runoff. Here's how the runoff was avoided, according to Gerard Le Chevallier, the U.N. elections chief in Haiti:

 Preval's supporter poured into the streets alleging fraud, prompting Haitian electoral officials to begin negotiating a compromise at the urging of diplomats.

 Electoral officials met into the early hours of Feb. 16 before deciding to divide thousands of ballots left blank for unknown reasons among the 33 candidates according to the percentage of votes they had received. Under the agreement, Preval received 44,478 of 91,219 blank ballots, thus giving him the majority he needed.

 Preval gained 58,346 more votes after another 5 percent of the valid votes were tallied, giving him 51.21 percent of the vote with 95.78 percent counted.

 The remaining results were either lost, stolen or destroyed before they could be processed, reports AP.


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