CARICOM Pleased with Conduct of Haiti’s Election

Archive photo: Officials in Haiti counting ballots at the end of polling on election day

CARICOM’s Election Observer Mission (CEOM), which monitored Sunday’s presidential and legislative elections in Haiti, said Tuesday that it was generally pleased with the conduct of the long-delayed poll.

In a statement, the CEOM said it had observed more than 300 polling stations and that the officers of Haiti’s Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) “not only displayed an improved competence, but a uniform execution of their duties.” 

The CEOM visited polling stations in three districts neighboring the capital city of Port-au-Prince, including areas affected by Hurricane Matthew that tore through the country on October 4.

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The CEM statement commended “the bold step by the CEP to convene the elections so close after Hurricane Matthew had wreaked havoc on the country.” It was also noted in its initial assessments that the Haitian election management body was well prepared.

The CEOM, which was led by the Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), Dr. Steve Surujbally, said it would specify and recommend new improvements in its final report, but noted that many of the lapses observed were “not of any great consequence or of the nature to disturb the electoral results.”

Surujbally said, “It is worthy of note that many of the suggestions documented by the CEOM following the elections of 25 October 2015, were incorporated into the CEP’s Training Programme and were used on E-Day, 20 November 2016. “The CEOM urges all Political Parties and their candidates to ensure their post-electoral behavior coincides with the law of the land, the tenets associated with electoral processes, and internationally accepted standards and best practice,” the statement noted.