UN ‘deeply disappointed’ over missed election deadlines in Haiti
NEW YORK - The United Nations Security Council has expressed its deep disappointment that Haitian officials have failed to meet the election and inauguration deadlines agreed upon in the February political accord, calling on all concerned to ensure the prompt return to constitutional order.
In a statement, the council welcomed, however, the reconstitution of the Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) and noted the establishment of a commission to evaluate and verify the elections held in 2015, stressing the need for the commission to be technical, apolitical, transparent and complete its work within its 30-day mandate.
“The members of the Security Council noted the increasing number of challenges Haiti faces; they can be best resolved through close coordination between a democratically elected government, Haitian civil society, and Haiti's international partners,” the statement said.
Reiterating its strong condemnation of any attempt to destabilize or manipulate the electoral process, in particular through violence, the council urged all candidates, their supporters, political parties and other actors to refrain from violence or any action that can further disrupt the electoral process and political stability.
The council also urged all actors to resolve any electoral disputes through constructive engagement and the appropriate legal mechanisms, and for the government of Haiti to hold those responsible for any violence accountable.
Welcoming the continued efforts of the UN, other multilateral agencies, regional organizations and UN member states in supporting Haiti's “critical needs,” the council also 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.
In addition, the council said it looked forward to the planned field visit of under-secretary-general for peacekeeping operations Hervé Ladsous to Haiti. The visit is aimed at “conveying to Haitian actors the sense of urgency expressed by the Council towards a swift conclusion of the electoral cycle as well as at assessing MINUSTAH's contribution to the overall situation on the ground, with a view towards this providing options that could inform future steps towards its appropriate configuration,” the statement said.
Council members also expressed their intention to continue to follow closely the situation in Haiti.
On 14 February, the Haitian National Assembly elected Jocelerme Privert as the island nation's interim president, one week after former president Michel Martelly demitted office without a successor.
On 25 April, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said he was deeply concerned that the agreed-upon date for holding elections in Haiti – 24 April – had not been met. That date had been set following an agreement – known as the 5 February Agreement – between Haitian stakeholders to preserve institutional continuity and further the electoral process.
Photo: Officials in Haiti begin counting ballots at the end of polling on election day, 9 August 2015. Credit: UN/MINUSTAH/Logan Abassi