Haiti - Elections : A campaign with uncertain progress - HaitiLibre.com : Haiti news 7/7

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Haiti - Elections : A campaign with uncertain progress
27/09/2010 15:06:41

Haiti - Elections : A campaign with uncertain progress
4.5 million voters, including many refugees living in camps for displaced persons, are called to elect their new leaders. On 28 November they will be spoiled for choice, 850 candiates for 99 places in the chamber of deputies, 95 candidates for 11 Senate seats and 19 candidates for the presidency. If Haiti is woefully underfunded, the country is certainly no shortage of candidates.

A campaign that begins today against a backdrop of uncertainty and fear, among others: risks of a low participation, security problems and instability, fears of irregularities at the polls.

"I hope this election does not take the shape of a battle, in an aggressive campaign which seeks to destroy the competitor instead of asserting that ideas [...] I fear that the low participation " evoking "the disaffection of the electorate vis-à-vis the political world, the movement of people after the earthquake and the fact that for many people coming in difficult conditions, to vote in elections is perhaps not their priority" said President Préval Sunday.

The international community, meanwhile, expressed concern about the risk of boycott by some parties, the risk of social upheaval and suspicions about the Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) charged with operating under the dictates of government.

Recently, a group of organizations of civil society in Haiti has asked Secretary General Kofi Annan, to use his influence to postpone the elections, fearing that they cause "new political crises in the country."

Rene Preval also fears of security problems "Our police are too few, less than 10,000 for all countries and UN forces [a military contingent of up to 8.940 men] who can not help us because they do not speak [for most] or Creole or French" he lamented.

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