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People of Haiti vote in long overdue elections

Haitians voting

10.8.2015 - A first round of legislative elections took place in Haiti yesterday and were marred by reported violence and polling disruptions in some areas. Nonetheless, the United Nations (UN) Secretary-General’s Special Representative in Haiti, Ms Sandra Honoré commended "all those citizens who peacefully exercised their right to vote across the country”

From 6:00AM on Sunday Haitian people started to visit the polls to elect 118 Deputies and two thirds of the Senate in elections that were long-awaited and had been delayed since 2011. The campaign period was marked by violence and induced to a “climate of terror” leading to tight security measures.

2000px Flag of Haiti.svgIn his official statement, the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon had welcomed the ballots as “a major milestone for democracy in Haiti”. He had also encouraged all parties involved and Haitian people to democratic and fair campaigning and stressed how “credible, inclusive and transparent elections are key to long-term stability and promotion of a vibrant democracy.”  

At the Haiti International Partners Electoral Meeting, earlier in July, Ms Sandra Honoré who also heads the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), highlighted the “essential” nature of the elections for the immediate renewal of the country’s institutions and for its long-term democratic consolidation. MINUSTAH has been working towards Haiti’s stability since 2004 and has invested significant effort over recent years to strengthen national electoral capabilities.

The legislative polls will be followed by presidential elections on 25 October, as President Michel Martelly cannot run again by Constitution. Ms Sandra Honoré reiterated today her call for “all parties to await peacefully the results of this first round and to pursue the electoral process in compliance with the law.”

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