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Security Council urges Haiti to hold elections this year

18 October 2005 The Security Council today stressed the primary importance of holding a first round of elections in Haiti this year, and urged the authorities there to undertake a series of measure to achieve this goal.

Reading a statement on behalf of the members, the Council President, Gheorghe Dumitru of Romania, welcomed recent steps taken by the Transitional Government and Haiti's Conseil Electoral Provisoire but noted with concern that important challenges have yet to be overcome.

Specifically, the Council urged the Haitian authorities to work with the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) to develop a phased electoral plan as a matter of priority, with a view to finalizing a feasible electoral calendar. It also urged the Haitian authorities to publish the final list of candidates for the elections and to agree in consultation with MINUSTAH on a list of voting centres.

"National reconciliation and political dialogue should continue to be promoted as a means to ensure long-term stability and good governance," the President said.

In the area of criminal justice, the Council urged the Transitional Government to put into effect reforms of the Haitian National Police (HNP) and the judicial system, working with MINUSTAH.

The Council voiced concern over reports of involvement of some officers of the Haitian police in serious crimes and human rights violations and stressed the need to investigate fully any allegations to this effect.

"Haiti is at a critical juncture," Ambassador Dumitru said. "While ultimately, the responsibility for Haiti's future with its Government and people, the international community must continue to provide support."

Earlier in the afternoon, at a separate meeting, Haiti's Prime Minister, Gerard Latortue, told the Council that the political situation in Haiti had developed in the right direction, with more than 40 political parties and more than 30 presidential candidates.

The Transitional Government had done its utmost to see that all political parties were included in the political process, he said, pledging to ensure a transfer of power on 7 February 2006 in accordance with the Constitution.



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