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Haitians cast votes for next president

March 21, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
Voters in Haiti are waiting to find out who they've elected president after heading to the polls on Sunday.

They had to choose between former first lady and senator Mirlande Manigat and musician Michel "Sweet Micky" Martelly.

Voters formed what for the most part were orderly lines, some shrugging off delays of three hours. Preliminary results aren't expected until March 31.

The vote was calmer than the first round of voting in November, which was marred by disorganization, voter intimidation and allegations of widespread fraud.

The next president faces challenges such as replacing homes and schools in the earthquake-devastated capital. Officials estimate that more than 300,000 people were killed in last year's disaster. Thousands of people still live in camps around Port-au-Prince.

Compounding the misery is a cholera outbreak that has killed more than 4,700 people and is expected to surge again with the rainy season.

Martelly, 50, seems to have the support of young jobless voters, while Manigat, 70, who touts her academic credentials and tells voters to call her mother, appeals to the country's educated middle class, a sliver of the population in a largely poor nation of 10 million.

Meantime, rapper and former Haitian presidential candidate Wyclef Jean is recovering after being shot in the hand in Port-au-Prince on Saturday. Jean said he was only slightly injured.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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