Photo above: Sandra Honoré, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH). Photo credit: UN.
UNITED NATIONS, New York Mar 18, (CMC) — The United Nations’ top official in Haiti says, the French-speaking Caribbean country’s only path to institutional and political stability is by going to the polls.
In briefing the UN Security Council, yesterday, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), Sandra Honoré, said, a protracted, political crisis in Haiti may hamper the stabilization gains achieved in recent years and further decline the nation’s economic growth.
She said, the next few weeks would be decisive for the short and mid-term prospects for Haiti’s democratic consolidation.
“There is therefore no alternative to the return, as soon as possible, to the path of institutional and political stability, through the completion of the pending elections,” she said.
On February 14, the Haitian National Assembly elected Jocelerme Privert as the nation’s interim President, one week after former President, Michel Martelly, departed without a successor being elected.
Privert will serve as interim President for 120 days, with an election 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, the UN said.
Despite efforts to preserve the timeline, “tensions continue to run high, with a political class yet to unite behind a common vision for the political process,” Honoré told the Security Council.
In recent weeks, the confirmation of the Prime Minister and the reestablishment of the Provisional Electoral Council have been delayed.
Honoré, in a joint statement with other members of the international community represented in the so called “Core Group” – Brazil, Canada, Spain, France, United States, European Union and Organization of American States – expressed “grave concern” about the delays.
The “Core Group” strongly urged the Parliament to play its role in implementing the February 5 Agreement and vote on the Prime Minister’s government policy, without delay.
“The ‘Core Group’ calls on all actors to spare no effort to ensure the implementation of the Agreement, in the interest of the Haitian people and their right to choose their leaders and representatives through elections,” the statement said.
In her briefing to the Council, Honoré noted, that the current security situation is fragile but largely peaceful.
She, however, said, the economy is showing “signs of fatigue”, with declines in public and private investment, waning growth and rising inflation.
To tackle these and other key challenges, “Haiti needs stable institutions and a capable governance system,” the UN envoy said.