News Americas, WASHINGTON, D.C., Tues. Mar. 22, 2011: The just completed second round of the presidential and legislative elections in Haiti was quite an improvement in many ways over the first round in November.
That’s the analysis from the OAS-CARICOM Joint Electoral Observation Mission and its 201 observers that it deployed throughout Haiti on Sunday, March 20th to observe the election face-off between Michelle ‘Sweet Micky” Martelly and Marlene Manigat.
JEOM said the political climate of Election Day was generally more peaceful despite the friction and incidents of violence that took place during the last days of the campaign and the voter turnout appeared to have been slightly higher that what was observed during the first round.
JEOM added that the problems related to the accuracy of the electoral registers and to the difficulties experienced by voters in finding their polling stations were far less prevalent.
But the JEOM said the improvements of the second round were tarnished by logistical problems which delayed the commencement of the vote in West Department in particular.
“The operations of sixty Voting Centres were affected by errors in the delivery of the electoral kits and the sensitive voting material. Among other items, ballots, indelible ink and ballot boxes were missing,” the mission said in a statement last night.
The observers said there were also several instances where legislative ballots were sent to the incorrect locations. JEOM also added that more work needs to be done with regard to the correctness of the voters lists.
The Mission says it will now have a continuous twenty-four hour presence in order to monitor the tabulation and verification processes as well as the implementation of the recommendations made by the OAS mission on the verification of the tabulation.
The final results are expected on April 16th and the mission reminded Haitians that any public demonstration in favor of a candidate is formally prohibited.
“Accordingly, the candidates have the responsibility to call on their supporters to await peacefully the results of the second round of the elections,” the statement added.
Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), José Miguel Insulza, also stressed that any irregularities detected during Sunday’s will be included in an OAS report to be submitted to Haiti’s Provisional Electoral Council towards the future improvement of the country’s future elections.