BETWEEN THE EU AND HAITI: HAITIAN ELECTIONS (11691/05)
Letter from Rt Hon Geoff Hoon MP, Minister
for Europe, Foreign and Commonwealth Office to the Chairman
Following your Committee's decision to clear
Explanatory Memorandum 11691/05 on Haiti, and your subsequent
letter of 5 October 2005
to Douglas Alexander, I would like to take this opportunity to
update you on the recent elections in the country.
Originally scheduled to start on 20 October
2005, the Haitian elections were postponed four times due to logistical
difficulties and concerns over the security situation. The first
round of presidential and parliamentary elections finally took
place on 7 February 2006. Several international observer missions
were present, including one sent by the EU and all were encouraged
by the high voter turnout of 63% and by the relatively low levels
of violence on polling day.
Tensions flared up in the following days due
to delays and allegations of fraud in the vote count. On 16 February
the Electoral Council announced that René Préval
had been elected President with 51% of the vote. This was possible
due to eliminating the influence of blank votes from the overall
tally. Whilst this initially caused some controversy amongst Préval's
opponents, they decided not to challenge the result. Préval
was acknowledged by the international community as the democratically
elected President and was inaugurated on 14 May.
The second round of parliamentary elections
took place on 21 April. Turnout was relatively low at around 30%,
although it is worth noting that this is significantly higher
than for previous legislative elections in Haiti. René
Préval's Lespwa Platform again performed well and will
be the dominant force in both the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies.
We very much welcome the successful holding
of both presidential and legislative elections. This as an important
step forward in Haiti's democratic process and we look forward
to working with the new government.
29 June 2006
54 Correspondence with Ministers, 45th Report of Session
2005-06, HL Paper 243, p 243. Back