All of the various actors involved on Election Day in Haiti have a key role to play. The Joint OAS-CARICOM Electoral Observation Mission (JEOM) calls on all of them to fulfill their roles with neutrality, a sense of civic responsibility and respect for the stipulations of the Electoral Law.
The training of election officials that is currently underway will be essential to the success of the process and the JEOM wishes to underline the importance of recruiting competent and experienced staff to perform these functions. The Mission reminds that improving the quality of training of election officials and particularly supervisors and members of polling centers (MBV) was central to the recommendations provided to the Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) by the JEOM and the OAS Mission of experts on the verification of the tabulation of the vote. In fact, the Mission is of the opinion that improving the quality of training of election officials and particularly the training of supervisors and polling workers (MBV) could help to avoid a large number of the irregularities that occurred during the first round. It is therefore regrettable that the training of supervisors was once again disrupted not only by those who were excluded because of their poor performance or delinquency during the first round, but also by protests organized by experienced supervisors whose names had been struck following replacements made by CEP counselors and also by BED presidents. Missteps made during the first round will have the same impact in the second round. The training of polling workers has been delayed until the last possible moment due to problems related to late or incomplete lists provided by political parties.
The Mission calls on the CEP to provide as soon as possible the lists of facilitators based on the experience and training criteria that it has itself developed so that their training can take place. The role of these new agents is to assist voters to more easily find their polling stations within the polling centers and to mitigate the problems that had occurred during the first round. In this case also, attempts to insert the names of people who do not meet the criteria can disrupt training and will not help achieve the main objective which is to improve the organization of the second round.
The Mission also wishes to emphasize the responsible and impartial role that Justices of Peace will have to play in fulfilling their duties and in preparing affidavits in response to requests from representatives of candidates and political parties. Similarly, the Haitian National Police (PNH), in close collaboration with MINUSTAH, has the fundamental task of ensuring the security of elections. The mission emphasizes the need to coordinate the efforts of both security forces and reminds supervisors of their duty to appeal to them in case of disturbances.
Finally, the Mission urges citizens to go to the polls on March 20 and to exercise their right to vote calmly and with civility.
For more information, please visit the OAS Website at www.oas.org.