Originally: President Jean-Bertrand Aristide calls for peaceful, democratic and free

President Jean-Bertrand Aristide calls for peaceful, democratic and free

elections and guarantees increased security by the Police

President Jean-Bertrand Aristide held a press conference this morning

reiterating that local and parliamentary elections will be held this year.  This

comes a day after the new US Ambassador to Haiti, James B. Foley, presented his

credentials to President Jean-Bertrand Aristide at Haiti’s National Palace.


The President indicated that he expected the electoral council to announce an

electoral schedule, pointing out that the law provides that only the

electoral council has to right to set the dates for elections. The president asked

that all branches of the government work together to prepare elections, calling

upon all to respect the decision of the Electoral Council to move elections

forward as mandated by Haitian law.

Electoral Council

Elections are being prepared by a provisional electoral council who is

currently engaged in preparing the field for nationwide elections this year.  After

the remaining sectors put forth their representatives to a Consensus Electoral

Council (as agreed to in OAS Resolution 822) the consensus electoral council

will be installed and will assume all responsibilities for the holding of


No to Violence

President Aristide made it clear that there would be no tolerance for

violence nor for illegal arms, stating that the role of the government is to provide

protection for all.  In furtherance of this, the President explained that the

government has the legal right and obligation to disarm those bearing illegal



“We will increase security so that there is neither psychological or physical

insecurity.  The law is for all.  If a political party decides to

demonstrate, without violence, and democratically, the police will be there to protect

them and accompany them. The police will protect all those who hold

demonstrations.  We ask all to respect the law and respect the Constitution.”


“The Constitution calls for elections to be overseen by an Electoral Council.

 I don’t have the power to oblige any one to participate, however, we

encourage all political parties to participate.

Speaking to the press, the President called on them as both Haiti’s press and

young adults, to not be discouraged, instead reminding them that they are the

resource and the future of Haiti.  “We need all Haitians to work together for

the transformation of Haiti.”