For information only - not an official document.
Press Release No:  UNIS/SG/2570
Release Date:    19 May 2000
Secretary-General Commends Haiti’s “Great Strides” Towards Elections;
Cautions Against Violence in Runup to 21 May Vote

NEW YORK, 18 May (UN Headquarters) — The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for Secretary-General Kofi Annan:

 The Secretary-General wishes to commend Haiti's electoral council, Haitian officials, and the Haitian people for the great strides taken holding legislative and local elections on 21 May.  Over the last few months, extensive efforts have been made to register voters, to establish a voting apparatus, and to plan for this long-awaited polling.  By turning out to register in large numbers, Haitians have demonstrated their commitment to constitutionality and to the democratic process.  The Secretary-General was disheartened to learn this morning that a grenade was thrown at the offices of the electoral council, causing injury to several persons.

 Free and fair polling is an important milestone for Haiti in the restoration of governmental institutions and the strengthening of the democratic process.  As election day approaches, the Secretary-General calls on all Haitians to forsake violence and to ensure that voters may exercise their constitutional right to vote without intimidation.

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