Aristide still the power behind throne
Tuesday 26 December 1995
Official results announced at the Christmas weekend showed Mr Preval, a 52-year-old agronomist and former Prime Minister, winning 88 per cent of the 17 December vote. His closest challenger, the former national police chief Leon Jeune, scored only 2.5 per cent.
Despite Mr Preval's overwhelming victory, the low turn-out of only 28 per cent gave the result an interesting twist, according to residents of the capital, Port-au-Prince. It showed that Mr Aristide, not Mr Preval, remains the most popular man in Haiti and will be seen as the power behind the throne for the next five years.
"Had Titid [Mr Aristide's nickname] been a candidate, there would have been a massive turn-out," said Jean-Robert, a Port-au-Prince taxi driver. "People were not voting for Preval. They were voting for Lavalas [Waterfall]." When Mr Aristide swept to the presidency in 1990, the turn-out was almost 100 per cent.
Many Haitians believe Mr Aristide, for whom Mr Preval served as Prime Minister in 1991 before the former was ousted in a military coup, deliberately encouraged a low turn-out to send a message to Mr Preval. The message: I got you elected but I showed you who controls the Haitian people.
Election observers from the Organisation of American States (OAS) were among those blaming the low turn-out on Mr Aristide, saying he deliberately withheld endorsement of Mr Preval until two days before the election. Mr Aristide's staff and many Haitians responded with disdain, saying many of the OAS team spent the election observing each other in bars.
An OAS media spokesman shocked many by drunkenly lifting the dress of an American newswoman at a post-election party while another OAS observer was thrown out of a hotel bar for drunken behaviour.
Mr Preval's first speech as president-elect, in Port-au-Prince on Saturday night, showed the problems he faces. He had to speak by candlelight amid a four-hour blackout.
Mr Preval's biggest problem, however, will be preventing or dealing with a resurgence of violence once American and other UN forces pull out on 29 February at the end of their peace-keeping mission.
- 1 Howard Jacobson: Let's see the 'criticism' of Israel for what it really is
- 2 Gingers face extinction due to climate change, scientists warn
- 3 Brazil vs Germany World Cup 2014: In defence of Mesut Ozil - the Arsenal midfielder works magic in the shadows
- 4 Pornhub pleads with users to stop uploading videos of Brazil 'getting f**ked by Germany' in World Cup match
- 5 Give childhood back to children: if we want our offspring to have happy, productive and moral lives, we must allow more time for play, not less
Game of Thrones author George RR Martin says 'f*** you' to fans who fear he will die before finishing Westeros saga
Jennifer Lawrence face palms Emma Watson at Christian Dior show in Paris
Gingers face extinction due to climate change, scientists warn
Pamplona Running of the Bulls 2014: Briton critically injured in San Fermin festival
Elephant 'cries' while being rescued after 50 years of abuse in India
Sustained immigration has not harmed Britons' employment, say government advisers
British jihadist calls for 'flag of Islam' over Downing Street and Buckingham Palace
Australia facing international condemnation after turning around Sri Lankans at sea
7/7 memorial defaced on anniversary of 2005 attacks with ‘Blair lied thousands died’ graffiti
Even when it brutalises one of its own teenage citizens, America is helpless against Israel
There’s a nasty smell in the political air – and it’s coming from the Tories
£36000 - £38000 per annum: Charter Selection: Charter Selection are working wi...
£25000 per annum: Charter Selection: Exciting sports company with a strong bra...
£250 - £295 per day + competitive: Orgtel: Financial Accountant - IFRS - Glouc...
£28000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Support Engineer - Central London...