The Joint OAS - CARICOM Electoral Observation Mission (JEOM) in Haiti has taken note of the postponement of the publication of the preliminary results to 4 April 2011 which was announced by the Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) in its Press Release #91 of 29 March 2011.
The Mission is present in the Vote Tabulation Centre (CTV) around the clock. Through its observation work, it has noted that a considerable amount of results sheets have been sent to the Legal Control Unit (UCL) for scrutiny. As a matter of fact, 15,200 results sheets representing some 60 percent of the total amount of results sheets have been sent to the UCL. This represents a significant increase compared to the first round when 10 percent of the results sheets had been examined.
This huge increase is the consequence of the strengthening of the measures used to identify the results sheets for verification in order to ensure the reliability and accuracy of the preliminary results and thereby contribute to their legitimacy. Moreover, the verification process for each results sheet is taking more time as the sachets have to be opened in order to verify among other things that the number of identity card numbers written in on the partial electoral list is the same as the number of votes recorded and, subsequently, with the use of a scanner, that the identity card numbers are valid. Despite the increase in the size of the UCL, the large volume of results sheets to be verified and the greater amount of time required for the verification of each results sheet have made it impossible to complete the verification process in the timeframe initially set out in the electoral calendar.
The Mission notes the difficulties for the CTV staff in carrying out the rigorous and systematic verification of this large number of results sheets in order to avoid the pitfalls which characterized the first round. It is also important to underline that such a wide-ranging verification will facilitate a more effective detection of irregularities and instances of fraud. Consequently, to date, more than 1,500 presidential election results sheets have been set aside.
The Mission acknowledges the civility and the patience displayed by the Haitian people and calls on them and the candidates to maintain this peacefulness while awaiting the postponed publication of the preliminary results of the second round of the presidential and legislative elections on 4 April 2011.
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