October 06, 2005 12:20 ET

International Mission for Monitoring Haitian Elections Holds First Meeting in Port-Au-Prince

PORT-AU-PRINCE, HAITI--(CCNMatthews - Oct. 6, 2005) - On October 5 and 6, members of the International Mission for Monitoring Haitian Elections (IMMHE), held the first of a series of meetings in Port-au-Prince, to evaluate the progress to date in Haiti's ongoing electoral process. The IMMHE is accredited by Haiti's Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) to monitor the presidential, parliamentary, local and municipal elections scheduled to take place over the coming months.

The meeting provided an opportunity for discussions with the CEP and with international organizations involved in Haiti's elections, including the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) and the Organization of American States.

The mission was established following a forum that took place in Montreal on June 16 and 17. It brings together representatives of independent electoral organizations from eight countries (Brazil, Canada, Chile, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Mexico, Panama and the United States). "The independence we possess in each of our countries, and our electoral expertise, are the essential elements in our ability to lead such a mission," declared Jean-Pierre Kingsley, the Chairman of the mission and Chief Electoral Officer of Canada. "The ultimate goal of this mission is to accompany and support the Haitian people in their path toward democracy."

In carrying out its activities, the IMMHE will strive to provide expert advice to the CEP, increase the confidence of principal stakeholders (political parties, candidates and voters) regarding the electoral process, establish linkages with national and international observer groups, and contribute to the overall legitimacy of the electoral process.

The IMMHE secretariat was established in Haiti in early August. Assisted by 10 long-term international observers deployed throughout the country, the secretariat has set up the necessary logistics to carry out the mission's mandate. Meetings have been held with election organizers, political parties, mayors, representatives of departmental and communal electoral offices, NGOs, and local organizations.

Drawing on expert assessments, the mission will evaluate the Haitian elections using the following internationally accepted criteria:

- legal framework
- voter registration
- electoral preparations
- voter information and education
- equitable access to media
- certification of political parties and candidates
- drawing of electoral district boundaries
- pre-polling complaints procedures
- polling (i.e. voting on election day)
- vote counting and compilation of results
- post-election complaints
- infractions and enforcement
- campaign funding and use of public resources
- enabling environment
- fundamental freedoms

In considering these criteria, the mission will be able to examine the legitimacy and credibility of the electoral process from beginning to end.

For more information on the IMMHE, or to obtain the press release in French, Spanish or Portuguese, visit its Web site at

Contact Information

  • Port-au-Prince
    (509) 563-1511

    (613) 993-2225