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Haitians must refrain from electoral violence

Security Council calls on Haitians to refrain from electoral violence

Saying it recognized Haiti’s recent elections as a major step towards re-establishing representative governance, the United Nations Security Council today urged all parties to remain calm while the final results of the election are being certified.

“The members of the Council express their expectation that the counting of ballots and the remaining steps in the electoral process mandated by Haitian law will continue to be transparent and meet international standards. They strongly urge all parties to respect the results of the election and refrain from violence,” the Council president for February, Ambassador John Bolton of the United States, told journalists.

Haiti’s provisional electoral council, known by its French acronym CEP, said yesterday that it was waiting for the last 1,000 tally sheets to be entered into the system.

The 15-member Council called on Haitian political leaders to live up to the high expectations of their people at this critical juncture by demonstrating statesmanship and moderation and remaining engaged in the process of national reconciliation, Mr. Bolton said.

The members of the Council reiterated their full support for the efforts of the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) and the Transitional Government to ensure a secure and stable environment in Haiti, he added.

The peacekeeping MINUSTAH itself urged Haitians yesterday to remain calm and await final election results, as many of the supporters of leading presidential candidate René Préval demonstrated on the streets of Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince, for the third consecutive day, demanding a declaration that he was the winner.

MINUSTAH said demonstrators have erected roadblocks in several parts of the capital and the mission’s formed police units have been deployed to manage the demonstrations, which have disrupted the city’s functioning.

Meanwhile, the Council unanimously passed a resolution that extended MINUSTAH's mandate until 15 August, "with the intention to renew for further periods."

It also supported Secretary-General Kofi Annan's recommendations in his recent report on Haiti and asked him to report to the Council on "whether to restructure MINUSTAH's mandate after the new Government takes office, including recommendations for ways in which MINUSTAH can support reform and strengthening of key institutions."

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