The Joint OAS-CARICOM Electoral Observation Mission (JEOM) will maintain its presence in the 11 electoral departments of Haiti until the proclamation of the final results on April 16, 2011, despite the departure of more than 160 observers.
The JEOM observers are present in the Vote Tabulation Centre (CTV) round-the-clock since this phase began on March 21, 2011. The observers are monitoring the new procedures put in place for the processing of the result sheets (“procès-verbaux”) and the application of criteria for verification to ensure the integrity and transparency of the tabulation process. The JEOM notes the strengthening of the capacity of the Legal Control Unit (UCL), which has now 16 lawyers whose task is to determine the validity of the result sheets brought to their attention. The Mission has noted that compared to the first round, a greater amount of result sheets were sent to the UCL. The Joint Mission reminds all actors involved in this process and the Haitian citizens that it is essential that a rigorous and consistent verification be done in strict compliance with the criteria established and published by the CEP. This will lead to the publication of reliable preliminary results.
The Mission is concerned about the statements made by presidential and legislative candidates campaign teams and allies on the voting trends of the March 20 election. Premature announcements of victory are harmful to public order and the smooth unfolding of the electoral process by creating expectations among their supporters that might not be founded.
The JEOM reminds all presidential and legislative candidates, and their campaign teams and allies, that any information available on the election outcome is partial and that the vote tabulation currently underway should lead to the publication of preliminary results on March 31. The Mission understands the candidates’ eagerness to know the results. However, it wishes to point out to the two presidential candidates in particular that one of them will be elected President of the Republic and, as such, will be responsible for the proper functioning of institutions and the maintenance of public order. They should therefore demonstrate as of now the sense of responsibility they will have to display when taking the helm of the affairs of the Republic by appealing to their teams and supporters to await the publication of the preliminary results to avoid creating false expectations and to respect the verdict of the ballot box.
The Mission also deplores the acts of intimidation that have taken place since the elections and that are the result of tensions between the legislative candidates in some localities. The Mission calls on all political leaders, political groups and their supporters to contribute to the maintenance of a calm and peaceful atmosphere as they await the publication of the preliminary results of the presidential and legislative elections.
For more information, please visit the OAS Website at www.oas.org.