4 Feb 2011

Haiti election run-off contestants named

6:16 am on 4 February 2011

Election officials in Haiti say the candidates in a presidential run-off election will be former First Lady Mirlande Manigat and popular singer Michel Martelly.

The BBC reports the ruling means that government-backed candidate Jude Celestin, is out of the 20 March run-off.

Initial results from the first round in November put Mr Celestin through.

International monitors said there was widespread fraud in his favour.

Under sustained international pressure, the ruling party, Inite, withdrew Mr Celestin from the race, but the candidate himself has been refusing to confirm that he will not take part.

The second round was supposed to take place last month, but was postponed because of the dispute.

The electoral commission made the announcement about the run-off on Thursday.

The commission earlier confirmed that Mrs Manigat won the first round of the election held on 28 November.

The mandate of incumbent President Rene Preval formally ends on 7 February, but he has parliamentary approval to stay in office until 14 May.