UN expresses concern over delayed Haiti election

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Jan. 23 expressed concern over the delay of Haiti's presidential election and urged political actors to reject all forms of violence. The election, which was to be held the next day, was postponed a day earlier due to concerns of violence, and had already faced past delays as well. The Secretary General further asked political actors to "refrain from any action that can further disrupt the democratic process and stability in the country." The country's constitution mandates that the transfer of presidential power take place by Feb. 7, despite the many delays.

In August, Haiti held its first parliamentary election in four years, as the country's parliament dissolved last January following canceled elections in 2011 and 2014. Last January Amnesty International reported that tens of thousands of people are still homeless as a result of the earthquake and subsequent government failures, forced evictions and failed short-term relief solutions. In many places such as Canaan, a post-earthquake camp on the outskirts of Haiti's capital Port-au-Prince, people are unable to reach the polls located miles from home. Likewise, violence and intimidation deter voters.

From Jurist, Jan. 24. Used with permission.

  1. Haiti: ex-coup leader says to fight ‘anarchists’

    A former Haitian coup leader wanted by the United States for smuggling cocaine called on his supporters to resist "anarchists" who he said forced the presidential election to be canceled. The former rebel, Guy Philippe, called for counter-protests and said he would not recognize any transitional government put in place when outgoing President Michel Martelly leaves office on Feb. 7 unless it was representative of the provinces. "We are ready for war," Philippe said. "We will divide the country." (Reuters, Jan. 24)