PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, Tuesday February 2, 2016 – The head of a special mission sent by the Organization of American States (OAS) to Haiti to assess the political situation there, as elections remain indefinitely postponed, says discussions held with various stakeholders so far have been “constructive”.
The mission headed by the Chair of the Permanent Council, Ambassador of Antigua and Barbuda, Sir Ronald Sanders, arrived in Port-au-Prince on Sunday. The team has so far met President Michel Martelly and senior members of the Government, Senate President Jocelerme Privert, and members of the various political parties in the Senate, as well as Lower Chamber President, Cholzer Chancy.
Martelly is due to leave office in five days, but no successor has been chosen because violent protests over allegations of fraud in the first round of presidential elections prompted election officials to postpone the second and final round which was initially to be held in December but was put back until next month.
No new date has been set, as protests continue and Opposition supporters demand an interim government be put in place.
Sir Ronald said that he “regards the conversations that the mission has had so far as very constructive, particularly because they are pointing towards a solution to the present difficulty being reached by national stakeholders”.
He said the mission is in Haiti to speak to as many groups as possible in order to assess the situation, and the fact-finding mission is not intended to “interfere, meddle or mediate in Haitian affairs”.
The delegation, including senior advisor to the Secretary General, Gabriel Bidegain, and former Ambassador to St. Lucia, Sonia Johnny, will present its findings to the Permanent Council of the OAS on return to Washington.