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Voters elect musician as president

PORT-AU-PRINCE | Singer Michel Martelly is the winner of Haiti’s presidential election, beating former first lady Mirlande Manigat, according to official preliminary results, a senior electoral council official said Monday.

Martelly won,” the official at the Provisional Electoral Council, who asked not to be named, told Reuters.

He spoke ahead of a public announcement due later Monday to give the eagerly awaited first results from the March 20 runoff vote in the poor, volatile Caribbean state.

Mr. Martelly, who has no previous government experience, had preached a forceful message of change, pledging to break with decades of past corruption and misrule in Haiti.

Anxious anticipation tinged with fears of violence had gripped the country since the preliminary results announcement was delayed from last week because of reported high levels of fraud.

The initial results are preliminary pending confirmation later in April.

The presidential contest had been an intriguing contrast of styles and personalities between extroverted entertainer “Sweet Micky” Martelly, 50, a political newcomer, and Mrs. Manigat, who is 70 and an experienced law professor and former senator.

Polls before the runoff had shown Mr. Martelly as the favorite.

U.N. peacekeepers were out patrolling the capital Port-au-Prince and other potential flashpoints around the country, one of the world’s poorest which is struggling to rebuild after a crippling 2010 earthquake.


Delta flight returns after radar failure

SAO PAULO | Delta Airlines said a flight from Rio de Janeiro to Atlanta was turned back because of a malfunction in the plane’s weather radar.

The problem in the Boeing 767-300 was detected after the plane took off Sunday night, forcing the pilots to divert the aircraft back to Rio.

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