As Haiti’s electoral campaign opens, the top United Nations official in the impoverished and earthquake-devastated country on Friday pledged full security and logistical support to ensure a successful outcome of the Nov. 28 vote, UN officials said here.
“Only a government that bears national consensus, armed with a vision based on the common good and determined to tackle the true causes of the current problems, can confront the challenges,” UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Special Representative Edmond Mulet said in a statement.
He cited the urgent need to resettle hundreds of thousands of people displaced by the quake and the longer-term challenge of re- establishing a fully functioning state of law with security and jobs, said the official.
“The Nov. 28 elections offer the unique opportunity to define the path to follow for the next five years,” he said of the presidential and parliamentary vote.
He stressed the major importance of issuing new identity cards on time and the duty of all candidates to campaign in a calm, respectful way and to prevent their followers from resorting to violence.
“A special responsibility falls to party currently in power to ensure that they do not abuse their access to State resources, which must never be used for partisan purposes,” he said.
Haiti’s election commission in August published a list of 19 eligible candidates in the presidential race. The elections will take place as the country is still reeling from January’s quake, which killed an estimated 200,000 people and displaced about 1.3 million others.
Mulet heads the UN peacekeeping mission in Haiti, known as MINUSTAH, which now has nearly 12,000 military and police personnel deployed around the country and has been on the ground since mid-2004 after then president Jean-Bertrand Aristide went into exile amid violent unrest.