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UN urges speedy Haiti elections

Monday, January 9, 2006

The UN Security Council has called on Haiti's interim government to hold elections by February 7. It made the announcement after holding an emergency session to debate the continuing postponement of elections.
When a fourth delay was confirmed last week, Haitian officials accused the UN and the Organisation of American States (OAS) of failing to play their part in preparing the election.
Both the UN and the OAS deny that they have failed in their task.
The poll was due to have been held on Sunday, January 8. It would have been the first since President Jean-Bertrand Aristide was ousted in February 2004.
Meanwhile Haitian Prime Minister Gerard Latortue says he will step down on February 7, despite the country's elections being postponed.
He said he would attend to the country's minor day-to-day affairs until a newly elected government takes over.
But after February 7, he will not undertake any new initiatives or make any decisions that involve the state.

And Caricom and the African Union are preparing to dispatch a joint assessment mission to Haiti.
They are seeking to determine if the country is ready for general elections.
Caricom's Assistant Secretary General for Foreign and Community Relations, Colin Granderson says the team is refining arrangements to begin its work.
Granderson says the pushing back of the polls gives Caricom and the African Union more flexibility in choosing a new date.
He says the team will be underlining the importance of constitutional government, and free, fair and credible elections as a means to ensure the results are not contested, and give legitimacy to the Government.

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