In a joint statement on Saturday, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Haiti and Head of the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), Sandra , and the other members of the international community in Haiti represented in the “Core Group” (the Ambassadors of Brazil, Canada, France, Spain, the United States and the European Union, and the Special Representative of the Organization of American States) cited the “absence of a number of parliamentarians leading to a lack of a quorum” as the reason for the failed deliberations.
“Haiti continues to face serious long-term socio-economic and humanitarian challenges. These challenges cannot be fully addressed in an environment of institutional instability,” said the Core Group, reiterating calls on parliamentarians to resume the session of the National Assembly and to “take action to end the uncertainty that prevails.”
“Reiterating the need to return to constitutional order, the ‘Core Group’ urges all actors to ensure the completion of the electoral process,” the statement added.
On February 14, the Haitian National Assembly elected Jocelerme Privert as the island nation’s interim President, one week after former President Michel Martelly departed without a successor.
Privert served as interim President for 120 days, and an election was scheduled for April 24, following an agreement – known as the February 5 Agreement – between Haitian stakeholders to preserve institutional continuity and further the electoral process..
Subsequently, on April 25, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s spokesperson issued a statement underlining the UN chief’s concern that that the agreed-upon date for holding elections in Haiti was not met and no alternate electoral calendar was announced.
In June, when Privert’s 120-day interim period had come to an end, the Core Group called on the National Assembly to take action and reach a solution that avoids an “institutional vacuum,” and to facilitate the return to constitutional order through the holding of elections.
On Friday, the Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), Luis Almagro, also voiced concern over the demonstrated inability of Haitian parliamentarians to meet in the National Assembly to decide on how best to guarantee institutional stability and encourage the continuation of the electoral process.
“Given the importance of the challenges and the serious risks to the country’s stability, it is particularly troubling that the meeting of the National Assembly set for yesterday, July 14, was cancelled, once again, due to a failure to reach quorum,” Almagro said.
“Haiti can no longer afford to be the hostage of dilatory tactics and other ploys,” he added. “The situation is critical. It is time to make a decision that should have been made long ago.
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