The United States welcomes the holding of elections on November 20 as an important step towards returning Haiti to full constitutional rule and addressing the serious challenges the country faces. This election enabled the Haitian people the opportunity to vote for a president as well as parliamentary representatives. A mere seven weeks following widespread destruction to Haiti’s southwest peninsula caused by Hurricane Matthew, Haiti’s government and electoral authorities were resolute in ensuring that all citizens had the opportunity to vote for their future.
U.S. State Department Spokesperson John Kirby said, “We commend Haitians for exercising their right to vote in a peaceful manner, and in some areas, amidst difficult circumstances. The United States welcomes the continued determination of the Provisional Electoral Council, the Haitian National Police, and the Government of Haiti towards the realization of free, fair, credible, and peaceful elections.”
“Successful elections are essential to the prosperity, governance, and future of Haiti,” said U.S. Special Coordinator for Haiti and Deputy Assistant Secretary Kenneth Merten. “In order to address key issues facing Haiti, such as recovery from Hurricane Matthew, electoral and judicial reform, anti-corruption measures, and the need to spur economic growth, Haiti must have political stability and a legitimate government with a five-year mandate.”
The United States takes note of the Provisional Electoral Council’s November 28 announcement of the preliminary presidential results. As we await the final results, we urge everyone in Haiti to foster an atmosphere of calm during the appeals process to ensure that Haiti remains on track toward democratic renewal of its state institutions and the seating of a president elected by the Haitian people. The legitimacy of Haiti’s rightful place among democracies in the hemisphere depends on its return to constitutional authority consistent with the principles enshrined in the Inter-American Democratic Charter.