Longtime Haitian musician Michel Martelly won the country’s run-off presidential election on Monday, besting rival and former first lady Mirlande Manigat.
Martelly, known popularly as “Sweet Mickey,” won the election with 67 percent of the total vote, easily defeating Manigat, reported Haitian 'Le Matin' newspaper, citing the Provisional Electoral Council’s preliminary figures. Manigat had around 32 percent of the ballot.
Chad Walsh of Grassroots United, who is living in Port-au-Prince, tweeted: “Judging by the gunshots and the screams of what sound like pleasure. Sweet Mickey just might have won it.”
Likewise John McHoul, a foreign national living in Haiti affiliated with Heartline Ministries, tweeted something similar. There is “lots of shooting in our zone as people celebrate Sweet Mickey winning the presidency.”
The results will be formally announced on April 16. Martelly is reported to have won nearly 717,000 votes in the run-off.
A 50-year-old singer, Martelly was endorsed by singer-songwriter Wyclef Jean, and was viewed as a political outsider, and as someone who could more easily relate to Haiti's people.
He will be tasked with trying to rebuild what is likely the most impoverished nation in the Americas in the aftermath of the massive earthquake that struck last year and killed 220,000. Cleanup efforts are still underway, and the populace is still reeling from the disaster, with several hundred thousand still in temporary camps. With the rainy season imminent, another cholera epidemic is likely.
Martelly will replace outgoing President Rene Preval, who cannot run for a third term.