[JURIST] UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon [official website] on Saturday expressed concern over the delay of Haiti's presidential election and urged political actors to reject all forms of violence. The election, which was to be held on Sunday, was postponed on Friday due to concerns of violence, and had already faced past delays as well. The Secretary General further asked [UN News Centre report] political actors to "refrain from any action that can further disrupt the democratic process and stability in the country." The country's constitution mandates that the transfer of presidential power take place by February 7, despite the many delays.
In August, Haiti held [JURIST report] its first parliamentary election in four years, as the country's parliament dissolved last January following canceled elections in 2011 and 2014. On January 12, 2010, a 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck [JURIST report] near Haitian capital Port-au-Prince, rendering the national legal system and government largely non-operational. The earthquake was estimated to have resulted in the death of 230,000 people, the injury of 300,000 people and the homelessness of more than one million people. Last January Amnesty International reported [JURIST report] that tens of thousands of people are still homeless as a result of the earthquake and subsequent government failures, forced evictions and failed short-term relief solutions. In many places such as Canaan, a post-earthquake camp on the outskirts of Haiti's capital Port-au-Prince, people are unable to reach the polls located miles from home. Likewise, violence and intimidation deter voters.