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OAS Assistant Secretary General Heads to Haiti for Elections

  November 25, 2010

The Assistant Secretary General of the Organization of American States, Ambassador Albert R. Ramdin is scheduled to leave Washington DC on Thursday, to witness the Presidential and Legislative elections in Haiti.

While in Haiti, the high-ranking OAS official is scheduled to hold meetings with the head of the Joint Electoral Observor Mission, the Head of the UN peacekeeping force in Haiti MINUSTAH, government officials, private sector representatives and political leaders.

“My presence is a demonstration of the OAS' commitment to the democratic process which we have supported for decades," said Ramdin. The OAS official, who was also present in Haiti during the 2006 election, also expressed confidence in the people of Haiti to hold the elections. “In the past I have witnessed the strong commitment of the Haitian people to democracy. I hope that we will witness the same kind of voter turn out and dedication on Sunday. This election is of critical importance for the future development of Haiti,”said Ramdin.

Sunday's Presidential and Legislative elections are taking place within the timeline stipulated in the Haitian constitution. While the situation on the gound is not ideal, the OAS Assistant Secretary General believes the elections will provide a more stable political framework for the recovery and future development of the country. "Haiti needs a constitutionally elected President and Parliament to tackle the many challenges from planning, employment and health care to the environment, and other areas."

Ramdin is also urging the future leaders of Haiti, to focus on the immediate and basic needs of the Haitian people, once elected to office. "Haiti’s incoming leaders will of course, establish priorities for medium and long term development, and while these are important, equally important are the immediate needs of Haitians still living in tent cities, those who need jobs and food. Haiti needs stability, and the elections, are where we start."

Reference: E-457/10