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Haiti gets UN nod for polling


rhondathompson, [email protected]

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NEW YORK – United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon Wednesday welcomed the decision by Haitian President René Préval to set the date for Presidential elections in the earthquake devastated Caribbean Community (CARICOM) country.Preval said that the polls would be held on November 28 and also mandated that the Provisional Electoral Council organise legislative polls on that date.In a statement issued by his spokesperson, Ban called on the Haitian government, the Provisional Electoral Council, political parties and all Haitians to “ensure that the upcoming elections are transparent and credible and serve to reinforce Haiti’s democratic institutions as the country strives to recover from the worst humanitarian crisis in its history”.More than 300 000 people were killed in the January 12 earthquake, which left 1.3 million more homeless and destroyed countless buildings, including Government facilities, hospitals and schools.“The Secretary-General reiterates the United Nations’ commitment to provide comprehensive support to the Haitian authorities in the preparation and conduct of the elections,” the statement said.The UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) and the UN Development Programme (UNDP) have already started providing security, logistical and technical assistance for the elections. In his latest report to the Security Council on Haiti, Ban said that elections were central to the Government’s vision for a renewed State, a vision he appealed to the international community to support.Ban encouraged UN member states, especially those taking part in the international task force supporting the polls, to provide the financial resources needed for elections as swiftly as possible.UN officials estimate that it would cost US$44 million to stage the polls. (CMC)

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