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Michel Martelly is sworn in as the president of Haiti - Live5News.com | Charleston, SC | News, Weather, Sports

Michel Martelly is sworn in as the president of Haiti

HAITI (CNN) - A former bad-boy pop star will be sworn in Saturday as the president of Haiti, taking over an impoverished nation devastated by an earthquake last year.

Michel Martelly will take the oath of office on the grounds of the collapsed presidential palace, a symbol of Haiti's woes.

Martelly was declared the winner in April of an election that dragged on for months because of allegations of fraud. He won a runoff with 67.67 percent of the vote.

He criticized Haiti's reconstruction process as being "painfully slow," one reason Haitians had grown discontented with the administration of Rene Preval. More than a year after the quake, some parts of Port-au-Prince were still heaps of rubble.

The day before his inauguration, Martelly toured a U.S. government funded project to construct three buildings that will house police instructors. Public safety was a top priority for Martelly during the campaign.

 Martelly told CNN last month that one of his first actions as president would be to nominate high court judges.  Creating an independent judiciary will send an important signal, he said.

"We have to establish a rule of law," he said. "We want justice for everyone."

Martelly also vowed to end government corruption that has plagued Haiti for years

He admitted the tasks ahead seem herculean in nature. But he is determined to seize upon the moment.

"I am excited to take command and make the right decisions for my country," he said.

Martelly's candidacy was unexpected.

He was better known as Sweet  Micky, the kompa singer with flamboyant stage presence. He appealed to  voters who had grown weary with the status quo.

Expectations are extraordinarily high as he takes charge to bring change to Haiti, the poorest nation in the Western hemisphere.

Copyright 2011 CNN. All rights reserved.

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