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#3486: OAS EOM - Press release (fwd)

From: Mary Durran <durranmary@hotmail.com>

OAS Electoral Observation Mission

Press Release, 5 May 2000

Informal Translation

Despite certain difficulties observed during the registration process, the 
majority of the Haitian electorate who wished to register were able to 
obtain a voting card and will therefore be able to exercise their right to 
vote on  21 May.   This is the main conclusion of a report published today 
by the OAS Electoral Observation Mission on the registration process 
throughout the country.

‘The Mission is of the opinion that the registration process has been 
completed adequately, setting down the conditions for competitive 
legislative, municipal and local elections,’ concludes the report, which 
also addesses the obstacles affecting the process.

The Mission reached the conclusion that registration was completed 
adequately after having made the following observations. Firstly, the high 
number of 4,034,595 voters registered compared to an estimated electorate of 
4,077,600 suggests that indeed, a high percentage of the electorate 

Secondly, EOM observers noted a significant drop in the demand for voting 
cards during the last two days of registration.  Furthermore, information 
provided by the electoral authorities clearly indicates that a significant 
number of registers opened in the final days of registration were not 

Finally, after having met several times with representatives of the 
political parties, the Mission noted the general satisfaction of most of 
these parties and civil society organisations regarding voter registration.

Nonetheless, the Mission is aware that the registration process was not 
without problems. The electoral authorities met with several difficulties in 
the transport of materials and the lack of effective communications between 
the communal electoral bureaux (BECs) and the registration stations.  A 
further problem observed was the wastage of electoral materials by 
registration station workers who lacked experience in handling the cameras 
and films provided.  The Mission considers the Provisional Electoral Council 
took the necessary measures to resolve these difficulties.

The Mission also noted that an undetermined number of voters registered in  
areas other than their residence.  In order to avoid tensions related to 
this fact on polling day, the Mission urges the Provisional Electoral 
Council to make clear public announcements before the elections that each 
voter must vote in the place where he or she registered.

The report on registration also looks at the process in the department of 
Grande Anse.  The Mission observed that registration was completed in an 
adequate fashion in 11 of the 12 communes of this department.  The EOM 
considers that the registration of the majority of the electorate in these 
communes has put in place the basic conditions necessary for the electoral 
authorities to continue with preparations for the legislative, municipal and 
local elections in these 11 communes.

In the report, the EOM evaluates a number of conflictive situations between 
local electoral authorities and political parties or civil society 
organisations.  On the whole, the Mission considers that these incidents 
were isolated, and that the departmental electoral bureaux (BEDs) and the 
Provisional Electoral Council dealt equitably with them.  Finally, the 
Mission believes that these local disputes will not have a major effect on 
the overall integrity of the electoral process.

This document was prepared by the Electoral Observation Mission from 
information gathered by members of the main office in  Port-au-Prince as 
well as by observers based in the regional offices throughout the country.  
The Mission arrived in Haïti on 23 February, at the invitation of the 
Haitian Government, and has since then visited 133 of the 135 communes in 
the country.

The OAS EOM’s report on the registration process has been made available to 
the CEP and to the political parties.  The Mission reminds the public that 
the observations contained in this report are not official information on 
the electoral process in Haiti.  The only body qualified to provide such 
information is the national electoral authority, the Provisional Electoral 
Council (CEP).

For a copy of the entire report, which will be sent by attachment, please 
e-mail oeapress@yahoo.com
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