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HIP predicts Preval winner in Haiti with 63% of the vote
Wednesday, February 8, 2006 - 9:00 PM Haiti Time
HIP - Haiti — Based upon exit polls and initial results, the Haiti Information Project (HIP) predicts that Rene Garcia Preval has won the presidency of Haiti with a handy 63% of the vote.
Rene Garcia Preval was the former prime minister for six months under Aristide's first administration before a brutal military coup in September 1991. An agronomist educated in Europe, he is also a former president of Haiti whose term ran from 1996 to 2001.
Preval's closest rival in the electoral contest, industrialist Charles Henry Baker, is not expected to poll with more than 10%. Leslie Manigat, a former president elected as a military favorite in 1988, actually polled ahead of Baker with an estimated 13% of the votes tabulated.
Baker represents the movement that ousted president Jean-Bertrand Aristide on Feb. 29, 2004. His defeat, and Preval's victory, signals the end of a U.S.-installed government backed by the United Nations that is accused of widespread human rights abuses including summary executions and false imprisonment.
Throughout the capital and during yesterday's elections, most of those interviewed by HIP saw a vote for Preval as a vote for the return of Aristide.