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Ambassador Ramdin Praises Agreement Reached on Division of Labor for Haiti Elections

  May 12, 2010

Port au Prince: During a high-level meeting of the International Task Force on Haiti called to discuss the parameters of the electoral process to govern upcoming elections in Haiti, OAS Assistant Secretary General, Ambassador Albert Ramdin indicated that it was “extremely important for the OAS, United Nations, CARICOM Community and other partners to agree on a clear division of labor which will now help to create conditions that are conducive and supportive of the electoral process in Haiti.”

Ambassador Ramdin also stated that “it is very critical for the Haitian authorities to make the relevant political decisions and to do so in a timely manner so as to ensure that there is a peaceful transfer of power when the time comes.” Ramdin added he believed that “it was vitally important to hold elections in order to preserve political stability in Haiti”. The Assistant Secretary General took the opportunity to announce the areas in which the OAS would be contributing to the process - assistance in updating the voters’ list and in establishing Tabulation Centers.

Both the OAS and the United Nations had earlier undertaken exploratory missions to Haiti to gauge the likelihood and feasibility of holding elections. They concluded that elections could be technically possible by the end of this year, provided that the process is launched as soon as possible. “I understand that the consequences of the January 12 earthquake have created real challenges for the electoral process in Haiti, but with strong collaboration among Haitian institutions, with the appropriate support from the international community, I think we can have elections in Haiti in accordance with international standard”, Ramdin added.

The OAS and the wider international community have agreed that the constitutional deadline of the last Sunday of November should remain the target date for presidential, legislative and other elections.

This high-level meeting was attended by Haitian President Rene Préval, and his Prime Minister Max Bellerive; OAS Assistant Secretary General Ramdin; Cheryl Mills, Chief of Staff to US Secretary of State Clinton; Ambassador Edmond Mulet, Special Representative of the UN Secretary General; Ambassador Colin Granderson, Assistant Secretary for Foreign and Community Affairs in CARICOM; and other high representatives from Canada, Brazil and the European Union.

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Reference: E-173/10