PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti: The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the Organization of American States (OAS) will send a joint electoral observation mission to Haiti in preparation for the legislative and presidential elections on November 28.
More than 150 people will be deployed throughout the nation, and will be charged with following the electoral process in the months before the elections as well as the voting on Election Day. A core group is expected to arrive at the beginning of August.
This is the first time the OAS and CARICOM have partnered together to provide electoral observation assistance.
OAS Assistant General Secretary Ambassador Albert Ramdin said the new collaboration will allow the organizations to be more effective.
“We believe that if a country is in need of help, whether it’s political, economic or social, or whether it is in need of technical assistance, we need to work together with the sub-regional integration entity or cooperation entity, in this case CARICOM,” he said, adding that preparations for the November elections are moving ahead efficiently.
“From a technical perspective, preparations for the elections are well on target, they are on schedule,” said Ramdin. “So if everything goes well in terms of technical preparation we believe we can have free, fair and credible elections.”
Highlighting the importance of timely elections in Haiti, Ramdin said successful elections could speed up the reconstruction process of the country.
“If we have elections at the end of the year, we may have a much better situation by February next year to intensify the process of social and economic reconstruction and work towards sustainable development,” he said.
Legislative elections in the Caribbean country were postponed after the January 12 earthquake. Since then, the OAS has been and will continue to be involved in various aspects of the Haitian electoral process, including: the registration of new voters whose addresses changed after the earthquake; providing technical assistance to the country’s Provisional Electoral Council and providing technical expertise and equipment for the establishment of tabulation centers.