7 February 2006

Haiti's Elections Opportunity to Move away from Violence, Uncertainty towards Peaceful, Stable Future, Says Secretary-General

NEW YORK, 6 January (UN Headquarters) -- Following is UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan's message to the people of Haiti on the eve of Presidential and Parliamentary elections, 6 February:

I have a message to the Haitian people as they approach elections on 7 February to choose a new President and representatives in Parliament.  These elections offer an opportunity for your country to move away from violence and uncertainty towards a future of peace and stability.  I call on all Haitians to participate and exercise peacefully their right to vote.

Every vote is crucial for the future of Haiti.  To those who may feel tempted to disrupt the democratic process, let me say that the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti, or MINUSTAH, will do all it can to support the Haitian authorities in ensuring that the vote is held in freedom and safety.

I am confident that these elections will prove a significant step in the work to build a more stable Haiti.  I call on all parties to respect the outcome of the elections, and on the incoming leadership to demonstrate commitment to reconciliation and inclusiveness.  The international community will continue to support the Haitian people in their endeavour to create strong democratic institutions, underpinned by good governance, the rule of law and respect for human rights.  On those foundations you can rebuild a nation of which all Haitians can be proud.

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