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Concerns Over Election Violence In Haiti

WASHINGTON  - Elections are still a go in Haiti despite the tent cities, the rising death toll from cholera and Hurricane Tomas and now pre-election violence.

Presidential elections are still set for November 28th but the OAS/CARICOM Joint Election Observation Mission in Haiti say they are concerned by incidents of election-related violence.

The JEOM say several incidents of violence have been reported over the past few weeks.  The Mission on Thursday reminded the political parties and the candidates that in accordance with Haiti`s electoral law, they must inform the Haitian National Police two days in advance of any public gathering in order to avoid any untoward situations.

In this way they will contribute to the maintenance of a security environment that enables campaigning during this pre-electoral period, JECOM said.

The mission is based in Haiti and continues to monitor the second phase of the election campaign that began October 15th through its fifty-seven observers deployed in the eleven electoral departments.

JEOM is also calling on the candidates to carry out their campaigning in a calm atmosphere and to display tolerance, friendliness and mutual respect.

Meanhile, the UN`s top representative in Haiti, Edmond Mulet, said no discussions were being held with the government and electoral authorities about postponing the polls.

`There are no objective reasons not to have elections on Nov. 28. Technically, logistically, security, budget, all is in place,` Mulet told Reuters.

The election is set to elect a successor to President Rene Preval, a 99-member parliament and 11 members of the 30-seat Senate.



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