Haitian authorites promise clean, safe elections

17:01, November 27, 2010      

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The Provisional Electoral Council in Haiti promised on Friday to carry out a clean, transparent and safe presidential election on Sunday.

Gaillot Dorsinvil, president of the council, told Xinhua in an interview that the electoral council "will host the elections with transparency and the political parties are the ones which must respect the rules and the people must go to vote."

"All the electoral materials for the elections are ready in the regions, in the voting centers, and we've finished training the electoral security agents and the members of the voting centers. So now we are telling the Electoral Security Agents where they will work," Dorsinvil said.

Elections will be held in Haiti Sunday to choose a new president to replace incumbent Rene Preval, from among 18 candidates, as well as 11 senators and 99 deputies.

Sunday's elections, which come amid chaos caused by an ongoing cholera epidemic and also serve as the first election since a devastating earthquake in January, will attract international attention.

"This year's elections are very important and there are many observes from the European Union, the Organization of American States, the Caribbean community, as well as more than 60 observer groups formed by locals and foreigners," Dorsinvil said.

Last weekend, Haitians staged a massive protest in Cap Haitien in northern Haiti against the Nepali peacekeepers who are deployed in the country, blaming them for the outbreak of the cholera epidemic. At least five people were killed during the clashes.

On security, Dorsinvill said, "We will offer security with the public security, formed by the United Nations Stabilization Mission (Minustah) and the Haitian National Police. We have everything under control so the people could attend voting feeling safe."

Regarding the cholera epidemic, he said that, "The experts have said there is no risk of infections, so people can go to vote freely and fulfill their civil duty" without being afraid of getting infected.

It is important that Haitians go to vote because "the next five years will depend on this, because...it will be a new government, a new legislature, a new Chamber of Deputies and one third of the Senate will be renewed," said Dorsinvil.

The voting will start on Sunday at 6:00 a.m. local time (1100 GMT). The electoral council has established 1,500 voting centers across the country.

Source: Xinhua


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