HaitiMemberOrganization of American States (OAS)Press Releases


(CARICOM Secretariat, Turkeyen, Greater Georgetown, Guyana) The Joint Organisation of American States-CARICOM Electoral Observation Mission (JEOM) has said that the peaceful acceptance of the final results of the 28 November elections in Haiti was illustrative of “democracy at work” in the French Speaking CARICOM Member State.
In its recently released Report on the First Round of Presidential and Legislative Elections in Haiti, the JEOM, led by CARIBBEAN Community Assistant Secretary-General Ambassador Colin Granderson said that the “calmness” with which Haiti greeted the results “illustrated the acceptance of the fact that in elections, a vital aspect of the democratic process, there will always be winners and losers.”

“The peaceful acceptance was also a demonstration of democracy at work in the wider of the society, and for which the Haitian people, their political leaders and the Haitian authorities must be commended,” it said.

The Joint OAS-CARICOM Electoral Mission had deployed 50 two-person teams throughout the country to observer the 28 November Presidential and Legislative Elections and in its report noted that the day was “marred by disorganization, various types of irregularities and fraud, and instances of intimidation, ransacking of polling stations and violence.”

From the information received by the teams, the report stated that the problems seemed to have been concentrated in a few regions, including Port-au-Prince.

It noted however, for the most part, the voting appeared to have proceeded far more smoothly in the provinces though similar irregularities had been observed. But, “the repeated allegations that massive fraud would take place seemed to have led to a mindset where any failing or inconvenience was perceived as a manifestation of fraud.”

Apart from electoral observation duties, the OAS was also called upon to verify the tabulation of the preliminary results and to accompany the dispute phase of the presidential elections. The report stated that the two expert verification missions deployed with those responsibilities, worked well and swiftly. It condemned the immediate leaking of the initial final draft report as “highly deplorable.”

The JEOM said that the major recommendation concerning the placing of the candidates was taken into consideration during the dispute and challenge phase. This led to the acceptance of a reversing of the placing of the second and third candidates.

Notwithstanding the seriousness of the irregularities that marred the elections, the JEOM’s report concluded that the irregularities “did not necessarily invalidate the legitimacy of the process.”

In summarising positive features of the electoral process, the Report noted “a number of elements illustrating modernization and greater openness of the politics; the recourse to polling as a campaign tool; the use of electronic messaging and other forms of social networking by some candidates; the increased involvement of the private sector as a stakeholder in the electoral process; and the large number of young persons, including women involved in the process as poll workers.”

Haiti’s Provincial Electoral Council has already commenced the implementation of the recommendations made by various international organization and verification missions, to improve the organization of the second round of the presidential and legislative elections due for 20 March.

These recommendations pertain to electoral management, electoral operations and procedures, voters’ lists and tabulation of the results.

The complete report is available on the CARICOM Secretariat’s website www.caricom.org

Show More
Back to top button