News Americas, WASHINGTON, D.C., Thurs. June 26, 2014: Haitian President Michel Martelly has confirmed his country’s commitment to holding elections on October 26, 2014, three years behind schedule amid a slow earthquake recovery process and gargantuan logistical woes.
Martelly reiterated the date during a meeting Wednesday with Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), José Miguel Insulza.
During the meeting, President Martelly explained that he has taken the necessary steps to make certain that these elections are held and requested the support of the OAS to ensure that the electoral process complies with all due guarantees.
In addition, he asked the Secretary General to send an Electoral Observation Mission (EOM) to the elections, in which Haitians will choose 20 Senators, 112 Deputies, and local authorities.
Without the election, Parliament could be dissolved in January, throwing the country into political chaos.
Two-thirds of the 30-member Senate, all 99 seats in the lower chamber and hundreds of municipal offices would be at stake.
For his part, Secretary General Insulza committed the support of the Organization and the timely deployment of a preliminary mission, in accordance with Article 25 of the Inter-American Democratic Charter, to back the holding of free and fair elections, in a process planned for October. The Secretary General also offered to organize an Electoral Observation Mission in a timely manner.
On a separate issue, the OAS leader delivered to President Martelly an action plan to support the Government of Haiti in providing identification for Haitians residing in the Dominican Republic without documentation. The action plan was prepared at the request of the President of the Dominican Republic, Danilo Medina, and the Prime Minister of Haiti, Laurent Lamothe.
The “Diagnostic for the Identification of Haitian Migrants Residing in the Dominican Republic,” drafted by the Universal Civil Identity Program in the Americas (PUICA) of the OAS, proposes concrete steps to provide birth certificates and National Identification Cards to an estimated 200,000 undocumented Haitian migrants living and working in the Dominican Republic. The project, which is expected to least for a year and a half, will include 23 offices and a mobile unit to reach faraway communities.
Providing legal documentation to Haitian migrants represents the first step in the regularization of their residency status in the Dominican Republic.