PORT AU PRINCE, Haiti -- The electoral observation mission of the Organization of American States (OAS) to the legislative and local elections in Haiti has commended the country on the organization of a very complex election, but expressed concern over low turnout, particularly in urban areas.
The OAS mission, headed by Uruguayan Ambassador Juan Raúl Ferreira, observed elections for 570 local administration councils (CASEC), 568 local assemblies (ASEC) and 139 city delegates, as well as run-off votes for eight senate seats and one seat in the lower chamber. The mission deployed 77 observers and specialists from 21 countries who visited a total of 285 voting centers in all ten departments of the country.
In its preliminary report, the mission noted that all stations opened on time and had the necessary materials, but also cited administrative difficulties that generated confusion on Election Day, and barriers facing female candidates, among other issues.
The elections mark the end of an electoral cycle that began in 2015 and that the OAS has accompanied throughout, deploying a total of 504 observers. During the last two years, several key aspects of the electoral organization have been gradually improved, owing largely to the institutionalization of the CEP and national ownership of the electoral process. Today Haitians can have more confidence in their electoral system.
The mission invited national stakeholders to build on this momentum and engage in substantial reforms, including the cleansing of the electoral list and revision of electoral legislation.