Haiti: UN applauds publication of Senate election results despite low turn out

28 April 2009

The United Nations peacekeeping mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) today welcomed the publication of election results for the Caribbean country’s Senate although poor turn out meant that none of the candidates picked up sufficient votes to win a seat outright.

The average participation rate for the first round of balloting last week was just over 11 per cent across Haiti, but MINUSTAH noted that numbers varied widely from one department to another.

While pledging its continued support, MINUSTAH urged the Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) to focus on the next round of voting slated for 7 June, when around a third of Senate seats are up for grabs.

MINUSTAH also called on the CEP and the Haitian National Police to learn from the logistic, technical and security challenges faced during polling on 19 April and make the appropriate adjustments for a successful second round election.

The relevant national authorities should “take the necessary measures to investigate the incidents of 19 April and ensure that all those who have violated the law are held accountable for their actions,” the mission said in press release.

According to media reports, voting for one of the seats in a rural department was cancelled after protestors raided polling stations and a supervisor was injured in a shooting incident. It was also reported that some voters had difficulty reaching the polls in the capital city of Port-au-Prince because public transport was stopped.

Encouraging Haitians to use their vote in June, the UN mission called for calm and compliance with the law.

 

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