UN mission to support holding of Haitian local elections later this month
10 April 2007The United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) has announced plans to provide security and logistical support to the Caribbean country’s Provisional Electoral Commission when it holds local mayoral and municipal elections later this month. The United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) has announced plans to provide security and logistical support to the Caribbean country’s Provisional Electoral Commission when it holds local mayoral and municipal elections later this month. About 300,000 voters are expected to cast their ballots on 29 April, voting for 73 delegate seats across 10 districts, MINUSTAH spokesperson Sophie Boutaud de la Combe told journalists on Thursday at the weekly press briefing in Port-au-Prince, the Haitian capital. Ms. Boutaud de la Combe urged all eligible Haitians to vote in the polls, which follow successfully staged legislative and local elections last year. MINUSTAH has already provided training, coordinated with the Haitian Government, to thousands of candidates and civilians to help the municipal administrations better manage their affairs, especially in budgetary matters. The mission has been supporting the polling process in Haiti since 7 February 2006, when the presidential and initial round of parliamentary elections were held – the first nationwide voting since an insurgency forced former President Jean- Bertrand Aristide into exile two years before. MINUSTAH peacekeepers are also continuing law-and-order operations, most recently working with the Haitian National Police (HNP) in Port-au-Prince to detain 51 presumed gang members during the past week. The arrests are part of joint efforts to cut crime and improve security in the capital’s most crime-ridden neighbourhoods, where armed gangs have operated for many years.