Casting a ballot in the second round of senatorial and parliamentary elections and the first round for a new president in Haiti’s capital Port au Prince, 25 October 2015. Photo UN/MINUSTAH/Logan Abassi
NEW YORK, USA -- Deeply concerned by the continued suspension of electoral rounds in Haiti, the United Nations Security Council on Friday called for the completion of the polling cycle without further delay to allow the Haitian people the opportunity to vote for their elected representatives in a free, fair, inclusive and transparent contest.
In a statement to the press, the Council noted the 5 February political accord, which provided a Haitian-led and owned road map for the swift conclusion of the current electoral cycle and strongly urged all relevant actors to adhere to the accord and implement its provisions within the agreed timeline, and underscored the importance of formally reinstituting the Provisional Electoral Council in this regard.
On 14 February, the Haitian National Assembly elected Jocelerme Privert as the island nation’s interim president, one week after former president Michel Martelly departed without a successor.
Privert will serve as interim president for 120 days, with an election scheduled for 24 April, following an agreement – known as the 5 February Agreement – between Haitian stakeholders to preserve institutional continuity and further the electoral process.
Council members further noted in Friday’s statement the increasing number of challenges Haiti faces which can only be effectively resolved through close coordination between a democratically-elected government and Haiti’s international partners.
Reiterating their strong condemnation of any attempt to destabilize the electoral process, in particular through violence, the Council urged all candidates, their supporters, political parties and other political actors to “remain calm, refrain from violence or any action that can further disrupt the […] process and political stability.”
Stakeholders were also urged to resolve any electoral disputes through constructive engagement and the appropriate legal mechanisms. The Haitian government was urged to hold those responsible for any violence accountable.
The members of the Council commended the Haitian National Police, with support from the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), for their efforts to maintain peace and protect the civilian population. They also welcomed the continued efforts of the United Nations, other multilateral agencies, regional organizations and UN Member States in supporting Haiti’s critical needs.
Briefing the Council on Thursday on the situation in the country, Sandra Honoré, special representative and head of MINUSTAH, warned that a protracted political crisis in Haiti may hamper the stabilization gains achieved in recent year and further decline the island nation’s economic growth.
Stressing that the next few weeks would be decisive for the short and mid-term prospects for Haiti’s democratic consolidation, she said: “There is therefore no alternative to the return, as soon as possible, to the path of institutional and political stability, through the completion of the pending elections.”