Haiti’s election is schedule to kick-off on August 9th. Some 6 million Haitians will vote for 1,280 representatives for local administrations, 140 mayors, 139 Parliamentarians and for the President. The several rounds of electoral processes could last until the end of the year and will aim to restore the country’s Parliament, which has been absent since January.
Addressing the Haiti International Partners Electoral Meeting held Thursday morning, UN Development Programme (UNDP) Director for Latin America and the Caribbean Jessica Faieta explained that after five years of recovery efforts in the Caribbean nation, the international community’s hard work has finally “paid off.” Now, she added, Haiti is “moving firmly to a democratic transition through these historical elections.”
“The international community must stand by Haiti’s side,” affirmed the UNDP official. “If Haiti succeeds, and it must, I believe we will have gone a long way towards a stable and prosperous future,” she told the meeting, which was opened by Haitian Prime Minister Evans Paul and co-hosted by the Permanent Representative of Uruguay Gonzalo Koncke, heading the Group of Friends of Haiti. “While it is important for Haiti’s international partners to continue to lend generous support to the country’s democratic process, it is equally crucial to recognize the work of the Government of Haiti in ensuring that its institutions can fully take charge of the elections,” Ms. Faieta continued. – source
Haiti’s prime minister and elections council president sought to reassure the international community Thursday that all was on track for the country’s most complex election process in history.
“We’ve already started the process, and progress is visible,” Pierre-Louis Opont, president of the Provisional Electoral Council, known as the CEP, told Haiti’s international partners in New York during a United Nations donors conference. The country was seeking $31 million to cover election costs. At the meeting, Brazil, Canada, Norway and the United States promised to provide additional funding, the spokesman for the U.N. Secretary General said. It was unclear Thursday how much.
An effusive Opont told donors that political parties, civil society and voters had confidence in the elections council, adding that “we have headed off skeptics.”
But serious doubts remain, including notification of polling sites for many of the 5.8 million voters, exclusion of some candidates and the council’s tardiness in almost everything from recruiting and training of poll workers to the publication of the final lists of candidates.
“What the members of the [Provisional Electoral Council] are saying do not conform with the reality we are seeing on the ground,” Pierre Esperance, head of the National Human Rights Defense Network, told the Miami Herald. “We risk unleashing a huge catastrophe.”
Among the issues his group has raised both with the CEP and U.N. officials, Esperance said, is the lack of voter education taking place about the importance of the election and concerns that 60 percent of registered voters could be disenfranchised.
“All of the process is late, and we are asking ourselves, for whom is the CEP organizing these elections?” he said.
Esperance’s concerns come as Haiti prepares to hold the first of three polls on Aug. 9 to restore its parliament, which dissolved in January, leaving President Michel Martelly to rule by decree.
Although Haiti has asked donors for $31 million, the U.S. State Department estimates that the country needs as much as $50 million to cover a second round on Oct. 25 and, if needed, a third round on Dec. 27. – Continue reading Here
Haiti still needs more than $30 million for elections by Jacqueline Charles
A top U.S. official stunned some Washington lawmakers Wednesday with testimony that Haiti needs as much as $50 million to carry out successful elections this year.
The declaration during a Senate Foreign Relationssubcommittee on Western Hemisphere hearing comes just three weeks before Haiti is scheduled to hold the first of three critical elections.
“There is a fairly good chance (the election) will happen,” Thomas Adams, the State Department’s special coordinator for Haiti, said about the scheduled Aug. 9 elections to restore Haiti’s parliament. “But there are still a few issues left. One is a lack of funding.”
Adam’s whopping $50 million figure during his testimony caused Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., to ask, “How many people live in Haiti?”
“Eleven million,” Adams said.
“And you need $50 million to pull off an election?” Boxer said.
Adams revelation during the hearing, chaired by Florida Republican and U.S. presidential candidate Marco Rubio, came a day before a United Nations’ donor conference in New York to help fill Haiti’s funding gap. U.N. officials and Haitian Prime Minister Evans Paul, who will be attending, hope to raise $31 million to cover the second and possibly third rounds of voting.
Adams said his higher figure includes other costs, such as electoral observation and support for the Haitian National Police, which will have to shoulder most of the responsibility for security.
“It is a complex electoral process,” a high-ranking U.N. official said during a briefing about Thursday’s conference, describing Haiti’s election timetable as “a major undertaking.”
With almost every elected office up for grabs, about 40,000 candidates have registered for 6,102 posts, including president. Runoffs for the legislative races are scheduled for Oct. 25, which is also the first round of presidential elections. Voting for local elections, which should have been held in 2011, also will be held that day.
Should no one win the presidential race outright, runoffs are scheduled for Dec. 27. – Continue Reading Here