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Haiti`s Dead On Electoral List

 WASHINGTON - The names of many who died in Haiti`s devastating earthquake of January 12th remain on the electoral list as the country prepares for the Presidential Elections on November 28, 2010.

This was disclosed in Washington, D.C. this week by Chief of the Joint OAS-CARICOM Electoral Observation Mission in Haiti, Ambassador Colin Granderson.

Granderson along with close to 200 stakeholders gathered at the Organization of American States (OAS) in Washington, DC, this week, as the Assistant Secretary General of the hemispheric body, Ambassador Albert Ramdin, convened an extraordinary meeting of the Haiti Group of Friends to discuss the situation in the country ahead of the election.

Granderson pointed out that one of the challenges following the earthquake was the number of deaths that have not been recorded.

`Names cannot be removed from the electoral list without a death certificate. Hundreds of bodies were never identified,` said the OAS-CARICOM Electoral Observation Mission chief.

Yet, Granderson said he is confident that adequate safeguards have been put in place for the vote. `ID cards, the use of indelible ink and other systems have been developed to deal with proper voter identification,` he explained, adding that there is a `definite dynamic` heading into the elections.
`The Haitian electorate is benefitting, more parties are engaging, and the boycotting front is crumbling,` said Granderson.

And responding to concerns about the transparency and credibility of Haiti`s Provisional Electoral Council, the mission`s chief said `the CEP is aware of its negative image, and is taking steps to ensure there is transparency.`

Among the concerns raised at the meeting was the possible impact of the cholera outbreak on the elections, the presence of tens of thousands of Haitians still living in tent cities, and reports of violence ahead of the polls.

`We have to be realistic and pragmatic about the situation on the ground,` said OAS Assistant Secretary General Albert Ramdin. `Under the present circumstances Haitian authorities, supported by the international community, are working hard to ensure that Haitians are able to exercise their right to vote, their right to elect a new President.`

The Executive Director of Initiative de la Société Civile, Rosny Desroches, reiterated several prevailing concerns about the situation in Haiti, but also expressed his desire to see meaningful change and development. `The Haitian people hope and pray that these elections bring a lasting solution,` he said.

Nineteen candidates are contesting the Presidential Elections in November, with some 4.7 million adult Haitians registered to vote. 



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