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Democracy Deferred in Haiti


FILE - A woman casts her ballot at a polling station during elections in the Petion-Ville suburb of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Oct. 25, 2015.

For its part, the United States looks forward to the prompt seating of a democratically elected president.

On February 14th, the Haitian National Assembly elected Jocelerme Privert as Haiti’s interim President, one week after former President Michel Martelly departed without a successor. Mr. Privert served as interim President for 120 days, but elections scheduled for April 24, following the February 5 Accord between Haitian stakeholders to preserve institutional continuity and further the electoral process, were not held.

Mr. Privert’s 120-day interim period ended June 14, and the United States and its international partners are calling on the National Assembly to take swift action and reach a solution to facilitate the return to constitutional order through the holding of elections and seating of a president-elect without further delay.

In a statement issued June 15, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations and the other members of the international community in Haiti represented in the "Core Group" (the Ambassadors of Brazil, Canada, France, Spain, the United States of America, the European Union, and the Special Representative of the Organization of American States) expressed concern that no measures were taken to ensure institutional continuity beyond June 13 as provided for in the February 5 Accord, and called on the National Assembly to “take action and reach a solution which avoids an institutional vacuum, and facilitate the return to constitutional order through the holding of elections without further delay.” The statement also urged “all actors, political parties, candidates and their supporters and others to maintain calm and to refrain from violence.”

The Provisional Electoral Council’s decision to restart the presidential elections from the first round was a setback for Haitian democracy. It will increase time and resources needed to complete the 2015 electoral process and further delay installation of a constitutionally elected president. The Haitian people deserve to have their voices heard, not deferred. The United States regrets that the electoral process is extended yet again.

For its part, the United States looks forward to the prompt seating of a democratically elected president who can work with the United States and with other partners to address the many challenges facing Haiti.

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