Haiti: UN chief concerned at postponement of polls; calls on all sides to refrain from violence

23 January 2016

Voicing concern at the postponement of tomorrow's already delayed presidential elections in Haiti, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon today called on all political actors to refrain from violence and complete the electoral process peacefully without further delay.

“The Secretary-General urges all political actors to reject all forms of violence and intimidation and refrain from any action that can further disrupt the democratic process and stability in the country,” a statement issued by his spokesman said, reaffirming the UN's commitment to continue supporting the consolidation of democracy and stabilisation in Haiti.

“He strongly urges all stakeholders to work towards the peaceful completion of the electoral process without delay, through the forging of a consensual solution that will allow the people of Haiti to exercise their right to vote for the election of a new President and the remaining representatives of the new Parliament.”

Tensions have been simmering since the first round of the elections in October, and Jovenel Moise from the governing party and former government executive Jude Celestin, the two top vote getters then, were set to face each other in the run-off, originally set for 27 December.

According to press reports, this second round was again postponed on Friday amid violent protests and the opposition's refusal to participate.The transfer of power to a new president is constitutionally mandated to take place on 7 February.

The UN has maintained a peacekeeping operation, the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), since 2004. With more than 4,500 troops and police deployed currently deployed in Haiti, its mandate has evolved over the years from supporting a transitional government to embracing earthquake recovery and facilitating the political process.


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