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#3069: OAS Electoral Observation Mission in Haiti - press releases (fwd)

From: Mary Durran <durranmary@hotmail.com>

Press Release
Informal Translation
30 March 2000

The OAS Electoral Observation Mission in Haiti categorically condemns the 
murder in Petit-Goâve of the coordinator of the electoral campaign of the 
Patriotic Movement for National Rescue (MPSN), Mr. Légitime Athis and wife.

The Mission affirms that such a murder, as well as all the other violent 
incidents that have occurred during the electoral campaign, are a threat to 
peaceful elections as well as to democracy in Haiti.

Therefore, the Mission calls on the police and the judiciary to open a 
serious enquiry into this crime, and find and punish the guilty parties.  As 
it is the duty of the State to at all times combat impunity, it is 
particularly important during an electoral period for crimes of this nature 
to be brought promptly before the courts.

The Mission also calls on political parties to reject all forms of violence 
and maintain strict discipline within their ranks.

Press Release
Informal Translation
30 March 2000

The OAS Electoral Observation Mission has been made aware of the agreement 
reached over the last few days by  the electoral authorities and the 
political parties of the Grande Anse,  in an effort to find a solution to 
the electoral crisis in Anse d’Hainault.  According to the principal parties 
involved, the crisis was provoked by the illegal disqualification of a 
mayoral candidate by the Communal Electoral Office (BEC). The national 
electoral authorities have since resolved the situation.

The Mission applauds this important initiative and congratulates the parties 
involved, who have shown a spirit of dialogue and flexibility in their goal 
to resolve this crisis, which threatened to deprive the citizens of Anse 
d’Hainault of their right to vote.  Such initiatives are a model for 
conflict resolution in a democratic society and this spirit of dialogue is 
the only way to guarantee democratic development in Haiti.

The Mission calls on the parties to respect the commitments made to 
facilitate the legislative, municipal and local elections in the commune of 
Anse d’Hainault.  The Mission also encourages all political movements of the 
Grande Anse to join this process of negotiation. In doing so, they will 
ensure in a democratic manner that their concerns about the electoral 
process in this commune are taken into account.

The Electoral Observation Mission emphasizes that it is vital that the 
legislative, municipal and local elections take place in Anse d’Hainault, as 
well as the rest of the country on a date that will allow Parliament to 
convene on the constitutionally-mandated second Monday of June. Through its 
regional office in Jérémie, the Mission will continue to closely follow the 
electoral situation in Anse d’Hainault.  The Mission reaffirms the 
importance of parliamentary, municipal and local elections for the 
consolidation of democracy in Haiti.

For further information, please contact the press officer Mary Durran on 511 
5690 or 403 0219 or the coordinator of the regional office in Jérémie, 
Alfred John on 284 5721.

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