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OAS Official Appeals for Calm ahead of Presidential Runoff in Haiti

  March 17, 2011

The Assistant Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), Ambassador Albert Ramdin, has issued an appeal to the Haitian electorate and to Presidential and Legislative candidates to maintain an atmosphere conducive to peace and democracy during Sunday’s elections.

The high-ranking OAS official, who will be travelling to Haiti this weekend, said peaceful elections will depend largely on the attitude and behavior of candidates. “It would not be beneficial to anyone to act in haste, behave irresponsibly or incite violence. The democratic process must be allowed to take place,” Ramdin said.

The OAS Assistant Secretary General says Haiti’s Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) has been urged to ensure that better provisions are in place for the second round of elections, to prevent the irregularities that occurred in the first round. “The CEP has informed us that they have implemented many of the recommendations made in the OAS expert report following the first round. We are hopeful this means there will be better safeguards in place. These elections are ultimately in the hands of the Haitian authorities,” said the OAS official.

Haitian National Police and the United Nation’s Peacekeeping Mission, MINUSTAH, will be on the ground on Sunday as Haitians go to the polls. Assistant Secretary General Ramdin is encouraging citizens to go out and exercise their right to vote. “Haiti needs political stability to move ahead with development efforts. Democracy and good governance are necessary to take any nation forward, but given Haiti’s recent and long standing problems, the elected leaders will have a major responsibility to their countrymen,” Ramdin said.

For more information, please visit the OAS Website at

Reference: E-576/11