Press Release


The Joint OAS-CARICOM Mission in Haiti Follows Closely the Beginning of the Contestation Period

  December 17, 2010

The period of complaints with regard to the preliminary results of the first round of the legislative and presidential elections in Haiti came to an end on Wednesday 15 December, four days later than planned on the electoral calendar because of the unrest that followed the publication of the preliminary results.

The urgent and exceptional mechanism initiated by the CEP on 9 December to verify the tabulation of the preliminary results, the Special Verification Commission, did not get off the ground. The CEP informed the Joint Mission by letter dated 14 December that “it found itself obliged to place a hold on its intention to establish the Commission in order to avoid any possible duplication between the mandate of the Commission and that of the mission ordered by the Head of State”.

With regard to the period of contestation, the OAS-CARICOM Joint Electoral Observation Mission (JEOM) notes that the number of complaints submitted by candidates varies from Department to Department, with the majority of them being submitted as expected by the legislative candidates at the level of the Lower House. The Mission notes that a large number of candidates have taken advantage of the legal recourses provided by the Electoral Law during this contestation phase. Several of the complaints submitted by presidential and legislative candidates call for the cancellation of the electoral process on the grounds of the irregularities and the instances of violence and fraud that marred the first round of the elections and which disenfranchised a large number of prospective voters.

The JEOM reiterates its call to the CEP that in carrying out its jurisdictional functions it must ensure that these claims, complaints and challenges at the BCED and BCEN auditions are treated with the transparency, thoroughness and fairness that they deserve. The auditions permit candidates to obtain redress when they provide proof that they have been the victim of irregularities or fraud. Despite the delays affecting the start of the audition period, the CEP must take its time to ensure that the due process procedures are carried out thoroughly.

These auditions are of critical importance as their outcome leads to the proclamation of the final results of the first round of the legislative and presidential elections. This was initially scheduled to take place on 20 December but will most probably have to be delayed. The Mission hopes that the prevailing period of calm will provide an enabling environment for serene and meticulous deliberations and for equitable decisions by the respective BCEDs and the BCEN.

For more information, please visit the OAS Website at www.oas.org.

Reference: E-492/10