PORT AU PRINCE, Haiti -- The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) will be monitoring the presidential elections in Haiti, rescheduled to Sunday, 20 November 2016.
Dr Steve Surujbally will head the CARICOM Electoral Observer Mission
The elections, which were initially scheduled for Sunday 9 October 2016, were postponed after Hurricane Matthew pummeled Haiti and left in its wake death, destruction and displacement of people.
CARICOM’s electoral observer mission will be on the ground in Haiti from 16-23 November. Dr Steve Surujbally, chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission, will lead the mission, which was requested by Haiti’s minister of foreign affairs, Pierrot Délienne.
The other members of the mission include experts in electoral management from Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Dominica, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago. The mission also includes support staff from the CARICOM Secretariat.
Meanwhile, the Organization of American States Electoral Observation Mission (OAS/EOM) in Haiti on Friday completed its deployment across the country. A team of 130 experts and observers of 24 nationalities, headed by former Uruguayan senator Juan Raúl Ferreira, will be observing Sunday’s election in all ten departments of Haiti.
The mission includes a number of specialists that are analyzing in depth key aspects of the electoral process, including electoral organization and technology, electoral registration, electoral justice and the participation of women. On Election Day the OAS will observe the process from the opening of the polls to the counting of the votes. A team will remain in the country until the tabulation process has concluded.
The OAS has accompanied the ongoing Haitian electoral process since 2015. During this period of time the EOM has observed that the electoral authorities have adopted several measures to strengthen the electoral process.
“We have seen improvements in comparison to the prior phases of the process, notwithstanding the adverse circumstances,” said Ferreira.
The OAS/EOM appealed to the citizens to join in these efforts by coming out to vote in a massive and orderly manner on Sunday and called upon candidates to act in a responsible manner, allowing a democratically elected president, as well as legislators and senators, to take office in 2017.