Toward landmark elections in Haiti: International partners reaffirm strong commitment

Jul 16, 2015

Starting 9 August, almost six million Haitians will choose 1,280 local administrations, 140 municipal administrations and 139 Parliamentarians. Photo: UNDP Haiti

New York – The Prime Minister of Haiti and United Nations top officials joined Member State representatives here today to gather support for Haiti’s upcoming milestone elections.

Starting 9 August, almost six million Haitians will choose 1,280 local administrations, 140 municipal administrations and 139 Parliamentarians in an electoral process with several rounds that could last until the end of the year. For the third consecutive time in history, Haitians will also democratically elect a President, following the completion of two five-year presidential terms. Moreover, a record number of nearly 38,000 candidates are running for local elections.

“The upcoming elections are a significant moment for our country, and the Government which I have the honor to lead is making every effort possible to ensure that these elections can take place on time and in a serene environment. I am happy to announce that the Government of Haiti has allocated 6 million USD for election security and another 10 million USD for political party financing, in addition to the other substantial financial contributions made in support of the electoral process.” said Prime Minister Evans Paul of Haiti, opening the meeting at UN headquarters, co-hosted by the Permanent Representative of Uruguay Gonzalo Koncke, heading the Group of Friends of Haiti.

“This is a major opportunity to reaffirm our common commitment to democratic consolidation and our solidarity with the aspirations and hopes of the Haitian people” said Sandra Honoré, UN Secretary General’s Special Representative and Head of the Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH).

The ongoing democratic election process, the most impressive in Haitian history, will require:

  • The set-up of nearly 13,500 polling stations in almost 1,600 voting centers,
  • The printing of almost 60 million ballots and the use of 42,000 electoral kits.

Moreover, over 41,000 temporary staff are being hired and trained to help run the elections.  Thus far, joint efforts by the national authorities and international donors have generated enough resources to finance the first round of polls on 9 August. Yet, an important gap needs to be filled to cover the electoral cycle in its entirety. The President of the Haitian Provisional Electoral Council (CEP), Pierre Louis Opont, reconfirming that preparations for the holding of the first round of the elections are on track, thanked Member States for their support.

Haiti has struggled for decades to consolidate democracy in the country, which was deeply affected by the devastating January 12, 2010 earthquake that took the lives of hundreds of thousands of people—including 30 per cent of its civil servants. In the course of that same year, Presidential elections took place. For the past three years the Haitian people have been waiting for local and parliamentary elections. A Parliament has been absent since January.

“While it is important for Haiti’s international partners to continue to lend generous support to the country’s democratic process, it is equally crucial to recognize the work of the Government of Haiti in ensuring that its institutions can fully take charge of the elections,” said Jessica Faieta, UN Assistant Secretary-General and UN Development Programme (UNDP) Director for Latin America and the Caribbean. “Haiti’s longest period of institutional stability in recent history has a positive effect in the Caribbean and beyond, helping promote sustainable development and strengthening our region.” 

Contacts

New York :
Carolina Azevedo, Carolina.azevedo@undp.org
Ismini Palla, palla@un.org

Haiti:
Sophie Boutaud de la Combe, boutauddelacombes@un.org
Guillaume Joachin, guillaume.joachin@undp.org

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