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Haiti announces vote recheck

HAITI: Haiti's electoral authorities said Thursday they would urgently recheck vote tally sheets from the Caribbean country's troubled presidential elections to try to defuse a dispute over the results that has triggered nationwide unrest.

The move followed violent protests since Tuesday by supporters of popular musician and presidential candidate Michel Martelly, who was eliminated from a deciding run-off in results released by the Provisional Electoral Council.

At least four people were killed in this week's unrest, which has dimmed international hopes that the U.N.-backed elections held on Nov. 28 could create stability for Haiti as it struggles to recover from a devastating January earthquake.

In a statement, the electoral council said the review by a special commission, including international observers, would verify tally sheets of votes cast for the top three contenders Mirlande Manigat, Jude Celestin and Martelly.

Representatives of all three candidates said they welcomed the electoral authority's initiative to clear up doubts about the results. The council's preliminary results from the Nov. 28 elections were released late on Tuesday and showed former first lady Manigat and government technocrat Celestin going through to a final decisive presidential run-off in January.

Entertainer "Sweet Micky" Martelly had finished third, less than a percentage point behind Celestin, according to these results which have been rejected by Martelly.

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Friday, Reuters

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