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Last Updated: Thursday, 16 February 2006, 17:13 GMT
'We need peace more than we need aid'
A supporter of President-elect Rene Preval celebrates in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti
Days of protests have turned to celebration for Preval supporters
Rene Preval has been declared president of Haiti, after days of protests following last week's election vote, which was marred by claims of irregularities.

The BBC News website spoke to one Haitian for his reaction to the result.

Smarth Clement, 42, is from Port-au-Prince, Haiti. He says he is "optimistic, but cautious" about the outcome.


It's good that a result has finally been announced and that we have a new president.

People are now celebrating peacefully, which is good to see after days of protests - which I witnessed - that could have turned a lot more violent.

But all people wanted was a result.

We must celebrate today, but tomorrow the hard work really starts.

Because Rene Preval has not been elected by a majority, he must now sit down with other political leaders and come to a compromise.

Tackling the gangs

He must take action against the gang leaders that are the cause of so much violence here in Haiti. He must disarm them and put them behind bars.

[Former president Jean-Bertrand] Aristide used gangs to maintain power. Kidnappings became common and areas of Port-au- Prince became a haven for these gangs.

This has not been tackled since Aristide's reign, and now it must so we can become a peaceful nation again.

Smarth Clement
Smarth Clement says Haitians are "tired of failure"
This can only be achieved by our own police. The UN forces provide only a passive presence here.

There have been allegations of corruption against the police but we also have a new police chief and I believe he can make a difference as well.

I believe that to cut out corruption, police officers need to be better paid, or at least given better benefits.

It is uncertain whether Preval will allow Aristide to return.

If Preval is smart, he will not allow Aristide to come back. But if he does, Aristide should face charges for his crimes.

Tired of failure

We have not known peace here for 20 years and there has been no proper job creation in 10 years.

We want to see stability for our currency, more infrastructure, better redistribution of wealth among the people and an end to violence
We need peace more than we need aid.

Without peace, there will be no investors coming into the country, without investors there will be no jobs, and without jobs there will only be more violence.

There is an expression here: "Peace in the belly, peace in the street."

So overall, I am optimistic, but cautious.

Yes, Preval was president before, and he did not achieve much, but we can't blame him for not doing anything during those five years.

He was hampered by the mistakes of Aristide before him and the devaluation of the currency.

We don't know if he can perform miracles this time but we hope things can get better.

People need jobs and money. We want to see stability for our currency, more infrastructure, better redistribution of wealth among the people and an end to violence.

It's a huge responsibility but Mr Preval must not fail. He must succeed because we are tired of failure.





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