OAS Secretary General urges all sectors of Haitian society to support the electoral process

Following a 48-hour visit to Haiti, the Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), José Miguel Insulza, reaffirmed his support for the Provisional Electoral Council (PEC) and the electoral process, particularly with regard to the registration of voters, for which the OAS is providing technical assistance. In addition, he took advantage of his time in Haiti to inaugurate a registration office in Port-au-Prince, accompanied by the President of the Provisional Electoral Council.

Heading a delegation composed of the Assistant Secretary General-elect, Albert R. Ramdin, the Secretary General's Chief of Staff, Ricardo Dominguez, and Jacqueline Deslauriers, Director of the Office for the Promotion of Democracy, Insulza arrived in Port-au-Prince on July 5 and met interim President Boniface Alexandre; Prime Minister Gérard Latortue; other government officials; and representatives of civil society, the political parties, the international community and agencies of the inter-American system.

The OAS Secretary General also spent a considerable amount of time with the members of the PEC to evaluate progress made with preparations of the elections. He found that, despite some delays, the process is moving ahead. Nevertheless, he said he was open to the idea of extending the registration process until September, if the Provisional Electoral Council so decides. If the current pace of electoral activities is maintained, Insulza said he was satisfied that all potential voters could be registered on time. In that regard, he pointed out that the population of endangered areas was also entitled to register.

Finally, he urged all political and social groups to play an active part in the election process. The international community may provide support, he declared, but the elections themselves are a matter that pertains to Haitians.

Insulza took the opportunity to meet the members of the OAS Special Mission, headed by his special representative, Ambassador Denneth Modeste. The Secretary General reaffirmed his support for the Special Mission devoted to strengthening democracy in the fields of human rights, justice, security and elections.

Reference: E-137/05