The top United Nations official in Haiti Friday called on the Government of the beleaguered Caribbean country to carry out free and fair elections, which have been delayed for over a year, as soon as possible within 2013.
Mariano Fernandez Amuna'tegui, Special Representative of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon for Haiti, welcomed, in that context, work begun by the country's President and the President of the National Assembly to organize local, municipal and midterm legislative elections by the end of the year.
"We hope that the three branches of the State power work together diligently toward that goal," he said in a statement released by the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti, or MINUSTAH, which Fernandez heads.
According to that release, the most urgent task now is to put in place an Electoral Council.
In that context, he said that a Dec 25 agreement between the executive and legislative branches, on the formation of a Transitional College of the Permanent Electoral Council was an important first step and he urged its work be carried out without delay, in an independent and transparent manner.
The Special Representative reiterated that MINUSTAH and the international community are ready to support the organization of inclusive elections in Haiti.
The Security Council established MINUSTAH in June 2004 to restore a secure and stable environment, to promote the political process, to strengthen Haiti's Government institutions and rule-of-law-structures, as well as to promote and to protect human rights.
It has also helped support Haiti's authorities with recovery efforts in the wake of the massive earthquake which struck in January 2010, as well as supporting preparations for presidential elections held in 2011.