Media Center



  December 12, 2006

The Organization of American States (OAS) congratulates the Haitian people on electing their representatives to local and municipal bodies, the third time this year that they have gone to the polls, bringing to a close the election cycle begun on February 7 this year. The voter turnout, comparable to the turnout for municipal elections in many countries, demonstrates that Haitians are aware of the importance of participating in the democratic process—both within their local communities as well as at the national level.

The representatives elected to local bodies will have a role in strengthening governance at the national level. They must, among other things, select delegates for departmental assemblies, elect justices of the peace, and nominate candidates for membership on the Permanent Electoral Council that will be responsible for organizing future elections. Given their important role, the local assemblies (ASEC), district administrative councils (CASEC), magistrates and town delegates will be key in the decentralization process and in local developments needed for Haitians to move their country forward.

The OAS therefore calls on all candidates, political parties and their supporters—and the country as a whole—to accept the election results and to rally behind the elected officials, in an effort to consolidate the democratic system in accordance with the Haitian constitution. All Haitians—winners or losers, politicians and civil society representatives—must work together to set the country on the course to long-term development with the support of the international community.

Accordingly, the OAS will continue to support the process to strengthen the country’s democratic institutions, as it has done throughout this election year. Since the voter registration and issuance of national identification cards that are mainly used for everyday business purposes, and in the vote count exercise, the OAS Special Mission has provided technical support to the Provisional Electoral Council on several aspects of the preparations for the elections. It will now begin working to devise a system to equip the Haitian state with a modern civil registry and to provide Haitian citizens with an officially recognized identification card.

12 December 2006
For further information:
Contact Louise Brunet 446-4863

Reference: HAITI12-12