Profile: Haitian president-elect Michel Martelly

15:43, April 21, 2011      

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Haiti's presidential candidate Michel Martelly flashes the victory sign next to his wife Sophia after casting his ballot in his country's presidential run-off election while his wife Sophia looks on in Port-au-Prince in this March 20, 2011 file photo. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)

Haiti's Provisional Electoral Council on Wednesday announced the final results of the presidential election, confirming the victory of pop star Michel Martelly.

Martelly, better known as "Sweet Mickey," defeated his closest rival, former first lady Mirlande Maniga, in a landslide victory with 67.5 percent of the vote, official results showed.

Born on Feb. 12, 1961, Martelly represents to many Haitians the dream of a better future for the country, as he himself has worked his way up the social ladder.

After graduating from high school, Martelly joined the Haitian Military Academy and later moved to the United States where he ended up in working in a grocery store. One year later, he returned to Haiti and embarked on what turned out to be a very successful music career.

Martelly is considered a pioneer in creating a unique music rhythm known as Compas or Kompa and started to gain popularity with his first single "Ooo La La" released in 1988.

In January 2011, he came in second during the first round of presidential elections with 22.2 percent of the vote.

The president-elect has run his campaign on promises of addressing poverty and improving the rule of law to attract more foreign investment.

He also vowed to speed up post-earthquake reconstruction of his country which is still reeling from devastation caused by a 7.3-magnitude earthquake in January 2010 and a cholera epidemic later in the year.

"We have important infrastructures to build, but I think that we should not talk about reconstruction when Haiti is a country which was never properly built," Martelly said.

He also promoted a gradual withdrawal of the UN peace and stabilization mission as from 2012, hoping to set up more specialized units within the Haitian security forces.

Martelly is scheduled to take office in May.

Source: Xinhua
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