Haiti - Elections : The OCID observes a worrying deterioration in the electoral environment - HaitiLibre.com : Haiti news 7/7

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Haiti - Elections : The OCID observes a worrying deterioration in the electoral environment
14/07/2015 11:59:40

Haiti - Elections : The OCID observes a worrying deterioration in the electoral environment
In pursuit of its mission to promote democratic governance through citizen vigilance, the Citizen Observatory for Institutionalizing Democracy (OCID) a consortium of the Civil Society composed of the Civil Society Initiative (ISC) , the Ecumenical Center for Human Rights (CEDH) and JURIMEDIA https://www.haitilibre.com/en/news-14013-haiti-elections-ocid-for-a-different-haitian-electoral-observation.html conducted from 29 June to 7 July 2015, a rapid assessment of the electoral environment and the progress of electoral operations at the 10 Departmental Electoral Offices (BED) and 34 Communal Electoral Offices (BEC) distributed in 9 departments of the country. The information collected from the heads of BED and BEC as well as at the offices of the National Identification Office (ONI) led to two observations that OCID considers worrisome.

"First, the electoral environment has deteriorated significantly in some areas where voters are very concerned about security risks for both their person and the infrastructure and equipment of the electoral apparatus. These risks have also begun to be translated into attacks against BEC, for example, in the towns of Petit-Goâve in the West, of Terrier-Rouge in the north-east, of Grande-Rivière-du-Nord and of Quartier-Morin in the North. Facing the challenge of security in the context of the elections, the OCID urges all relevant authorities to play their role to ensure that elections are held in calm and serenity.

Moreover, contrary to announcements made by the Provisional Electoral Council (CEP), particularly in its release #40 and 41 the coordinators of OCID found that the process of recruitment of members of polling stations and temporary staff advance, but at a slow pace. According to the observations of 29 June to 7 July, only three of 10 BED and and 19 of the 34 BEC visited confirmed that the recruitment of members of polling stations (BV) was underway. Delays were even more marked in the case of the registration of supervisors (only two of 10 BED observed and one of 34 BEC considered had begun the process). This was the same situation for the recruitment of electoral officials and security officers who started only in one of 10 BED and six of the 34 BEC observed.

Moreover, the coordinators of the OCID could also collect several complaints expressed by the members of BEC against the CEP: non-payment of salary arrears for nine months, lack of materials, energy problems etc... constraints likely to further delay the work in these structures.

With an electoral timetable so tight and to this paradoxically slow pace of implementation of the electoral machine, the OCID is very concerned that the training of staff of the Polling and Voting centres be botched at the last minute. The Observatory recalls to the attention of the CEP that the success of the poll depends largely on the competence and impartiality of the election administration staff in all the nooks and crannies of the country. It urges the CEP to respond to requests of the staff of BED and BEC and accelerate the electoral process to promote the holding of legislative elections in the best possible conditions on August 9."

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