Martelly Officially Declared President of Haiti

April 21, 2011 Updated: October 1, 2015

Pras Michel (L) and Michel Martelly (R) (Gomer Thomas)
Pras Michel (L) and Michel Martelly (R) (Gomer Thomas)
Michel Martelly has now officially been declared president of Haiti, election officials announced on Thursday.

Martelly defeated his only opponent in the runoff vote, former first lady Mirlande Manigat, with 67.6 percent of votes.

The popular Haitian musician, who was encouraged to run for president by fellow Haitian musicians in the United States, will now face the daunting task of rebuilding a crumbled nation.

Speaking at a press conference in Washington on Thursday, Martelly said he will focus on reforming the country’s economy and start to reconstruct the earthquake struck nation.

Hundreds of thousands of people are still living in tents in Haiti since the January 2010 earthquake.

Good friend Pras Michel, founder of Grammy award-winning hip-hop group the Fugees, has been tapped by Martelly as secretary of state. Michel says he gave Martelly the idea of running for president and has been a strong supporter through the campaign. Michel’s role will mostly be fulfilled overseas, speaking to different government officials and businesses to drum up support for Haiti’s reconstruction.

Ahead of the final announcement by the electoral commission, Martelly had already traveled to the United States to meet with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and International Monetary Fund Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn.

Martelly will be sworn in on May 14.

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