Welcoming the holding of elections in Haiti on 20 November, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today stressed that the process “is crucial to ending the current governance vacuum” and urged all the parties involved “to show statesmanship at this critical time for the country.”
“He salutes the people of Haiti for having peacefully expressed their democratic right to vote. He commends the Haitian institutions, in particular the Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) and the Haitian National Police, for their leadership and professionalism during and in the lead up to the polls,” said a statement issued by Mr. Ban’s spokesperson, which also welcomed the role of Haitian institutions in ensuring an environment conductive to the holding of the polls.
The Secretary-General’s statement went on to stress that the electoral process is crucial to ending the current governance vacuum in Haiti and urged all parties involved, in particular Presidential candidates and political party leaders, to show the utmost statesmanship at this critical time for the country.
“[Mr. Ban] calls on them to reject and discourage all forms of violence and intimidation and place the national interest above any other consideration. He urges all actors to await the results proclaimed by the CEP and only use legal channels for any eventual challenges,” it said, adding that the UN chief also reaffirmed the commitment of the United Nations to extend its full support to the Haitian people in the fulfilment of their democratic aspirations.
On 14 February 2016, the Haitian National Assembly elected Jocelerme Privert as the island nation's interim President, one week after former President Michel Martelly departed without a successor. Mr. Privert served as interim President for 120 days, and an election had been scheduled for 24 April, following an agreement – known as the 5 February Agreement – between Haitian stakeholders to preserve institutional continuity and further the electoral process.
The Provisional Electoral Council further postponed the long-delayed elections in the wake of Hurricane Matthew, pending completion of an assessment of the impact on the electoral process. Prior to the disruption caused by the storm, which made landfall on 4 October, technical preparations had largely been on track for the holding of the polls.