HAITI-POLITICS-OAS reiterates call for strengthening of democratic rules in Haiti amid COVID-19.

 
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The Organization of American States (OAS) has reiterated a call for the strengthening of democratic rules and institutions in Haiti even as the French-speaking Caribbean Community (CARICOM) country continues to grapple with the effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19) that has infected more than a 1,000 and killed 35 Haitians so far.

The OAS said Friday that the current public health crisis 'should remind us of the importance of strengthening, and never deviating from, democratic rules and institutions.

President Jovenel Moise (File Photo)

'As established by the founding documents of the Inter-American system, legitimate governments are produced only by free and fair elections. The electoral process and the length of presidential terms in office are the result of a previously defined calendar specified by the Constitution,' it added.

The OAS General Secretariat said that in this regard, it was urging all political forces in Haiti to 'find a cooperative framework in order to comply with the letter and the spirit of their constitutional order, respecting the five year presidential term in office.'

The OAS noted that the term of President Jovenel Moise ends on February 7, 2022. But Moise has been under pressure from opposition forces to step down after accusing him of being corrupt. The opposition parties have in recent months staged violent street protests, but their actions have been curtailed due toCOVID-19.

The OAS said it will continue to closely follow the situation in Haiti, adding 'at the same time, the OAS remains willing and able to work with all parties involved in the search for the best solution for the people of Haiti'.

Earlier this month, the United Nations' Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) warned that the COVID-19 outbreak could trigger a humanitarian catastrophe in Haiti, 'endangering many years of hard-won progress in the Caribbean nation.'

In a statement, ECOSOC's Ad Hoc Advisory Group on Haiti called for immediate action to address health and humanitarian needs, alongside ongoing efforts to promote sustainable development and resilience to future shocks.

It asked the UN, Member States, donors, international financial institutions and others to urgently act together to...

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