UN concerned about postponement of Haiti polls and violent protests

haiti voting

Voting in the second round for the senatorial and parliamentary elections and the first round for a new president in Haiti last October. (Photo: UN/MINUSTAH/Igor Rugwiza)

 

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, Monday January 25, 2016 – Voicing concern at the postponement of yesterday’s already delayed presidential elections in Haiti, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has called on all political actors to refrain from violence and complete the electoral process peacefully without further delay.

“The Secretary-General urges all political actors to reject all forms of violence and intimidation and refrain from any action that can further disrupt the democratic process and stability in the country,” a statement issued by his spokesman said, reaffirming the UN’s commitment to continue supporting the consolidation of democracy and stabilization in Haiti.

“He strongly urges all stakeholders to work towards the peaceful completion of the electoral process without delay, through the forging of a consensual solution that will allow the people of Haiti to exercise their right to vote for the election of a new President and the remaining representatives of the new Parliament.”

Tensions have been simmering since the first round of the elections in October. The two candidates with the most votes – Jovenel Moise from the governing party and former government executive Jude Celestin – were set to face each other in the run-off, originally set for December 27.

However, that was postponed until January 17 and then until yesterday.

But the second round was again postponed amid violent protests and the opposition’s refusal to participate.

The transfer of power to a new president is constitutionally mandated to take place on February 7.

In a joint press release, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Haiti, Sandra Honoré, and other members of the international community represented in the Core Group (Brazil, Canada, Spain, France, United States, European Union and the Organization of American States) reiterated their “continued support for the conclusion of an inclusive and fair electoral process while supporting efforts to find a solution that ensures the democratic renewal of State institutions.”

They maintained their “full support to the efforts aimed at identifying consensual and constructive solutions to the current challenges of governance of Haiti through elections and dialogue between stakeholders.”

The UN and its partners also deplored the recent acts of electoral violence and called on national authorities, political parties, candidates and their supporters and the electorate in general, “to participate responsibly and with restraint in the electoral process.”

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