OAS Pushes Haiti On Overdue Elections

OAS Secretary General José Miguel Insulza.
OAS Secretary General José Miguel Insulza. (FIle photo)
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News Americas, WASHINGTON, D.C., Fri. Aug. 29, 2014: The Organization of American States (OAS) is urging Haiti to ensure it holds overdue elections there before the end of 2014.

The Permanent Council of the Organization of American States (OAS) this week adopted a Declaration calling on the three branches of government of Haiti to comply with the agreement knows as El Rancho and to call legislative and municipal elections by the end of 2014.

The Chair of the Permanent Council and Representative of Saint Lucia, Ambassador Sonia Johnny, said the Declaration on Haiti supports “the efforts of a member state to be able to hold elections in accordance with the terms of its constitution and with other agreements.”

The El Rancho Accord provides for the holding of elections on October 26.

Secretary General of the OAS, José Miguel Insulza, said that if the elections are not held as scheduled in the agreement, “on the first of January … Haiti will be left without a Senate, therefore we’ll be left without a constitutional institution.”

He said that the OAS “is prepared to support the democratic process in Haiti, especially the elections, in accordance to the Constitution and the laws of the country,” and assured the Council that the OAS will continue to accompany the political process through high level visits, the presence of an office in Haiti, and the work of the Group of Friends of Haiti in Washington DC.

The leader of the hemispheric Organization added that “the international community, including the OAS, can only assist in this process of democratic consolidation and then only upon the request of the legitimately elected Government of Haiti.”

“From this perspective we hope that all stakeholders in the political process continue to work together to create the best circumstances for stability and growth and security,” he added.

Several senators have been accused of blocking, for political reasons, efforts to organize a balloting to renew two thirds of the 30-member senate and the entire 99-member Lower Chamber, as well as hundreds of local government entities throughout the country. President Martelly took office in 2011 and is serving a 5-year-term.

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