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November 27, 2000


OAS Statement on Haitian Elections


Yesterday’s elections in Haiti for President and nine senators took place in accord with the timetable established by the Constitution of Haiti but without any correction of critical deficiencies in earlier local and legislative elections. Following the previous elections, which took place May 21, 2000, the OAS Electoral Observation Mission had reported that the computation of results by the Conseil Electoral Provisoire (CEP) followed neither the provisions of the Constitution of Haiti nor the Electoral Law.

Pursuant to OAS Permanent Council Resolution CP/RES. 772(1247/00) of August 4, 2000, the Secretary General has sought to foster dialogue "to identify, together with the Government of Haiti and other sectors of the political community and civil society, options and recommendations for resolving, as expeditiously as possible, difficulties such as those that have arisen from differing interpretations of the Electoral Law, and for further strengthening democracy in that country."

Between Aug 16 and Oct 20, four OAS missions, the first headed by the Secretary General and the last three headed by the Assistant Secretary General, produced substantial dialogue, but no consensus broad enough to achieve a national accord to resolve the political crisis in a manner that would elicit the support of the international community.

The decision of the Haitian authorities to proceed with the elections on November 26 despite the absence of such an accord avoids an interruption in the timetable for presidential succession established by the Constitution of Haiti, but does not alter the need to ensure the broad political representation and citizen participation critical to the development of Haitian democracy.

The Organization of American States is committed by articles 2(a) and 2(b) of its Charter to promote and help consolidate representative democracy and to assist Member States to establish conditions conducive to prosperity and peace for their peoples. True to these Charter obligations, the OAS remains ready to assist the government and the social and political forces of Haiti in their efforts to strengthen democratic institutions and to contribute to an environment of peace and security in the country.