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Haiti’s Long Overdue Legislative Elections Weren’t Perfect, but They Happened

FGxDe.AuSt.77PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti Haiti’s long-overdue legislative elections were not perfect, but it’s significant that they happened, the Organization of American States’ observer mission said Monday.

“The process took place and was taken to the end,” Enrique Castillo, the head of the observer group said at a news conference. “We cannot assess whether the problems … could disqualify the process as a whole. Our impression up to today is they don’t. But it’s up to the (electoral) council to evaluate that.”

Castillo said observers represented a dozen countries and were present at 171 voting centers throughout Haiti. Among the positive signs, observers found, was that voters’ lists were visible at polling stations and women cast ballots.

But like elections officials and other observer groups, the OAS recognized that the elections for 139 seats in parliament were riddled with irregularities, ranging from late start times to acts of violence. Results are expected Aug. 19.

Their observations were joined by that of the leading foreign diplomats in Haiti who said in a statement, “The organization of the first round of elections reflects the efforts’ of Haitian authorities including the police, government and elections officials.

“While commending the efforts of citizens who exercised their right to vote across the country,” diplomats said they deplore the “interruptions of the polls in certain areas, acts of violence and the loss of human life.” The statement asks Haiti’s authorities to investigate the incidents and to bring the perpetrators to justice.

“While commending the efforts of citizens who exercised their right to vote across the country,” diplomats said they deplore the “interruptions of the polls in certain areas, acts of violence and the loss of human life.” The statement asks Haiti’s authorities to investigate the incidents and to bring the perpetrators to justice.

Neither the diplomats nor the OAS provided any information on how many of the country’s 5.8 million registered voters turned out to vote. In the capital, some voting centers had few voters, and many believe that the reports of violence forced some to stay home.

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