April 21, 2006


Haiti's Second Round Parliament Election Opens Friday: Haitians return to the polls Friday to elect a parliament. The vote is seen as a crucial step in establishing a legitimate democratic government in the politically unstable Caribbean nation. (Amelia Shaw, 21 April 2006, VOA News)

United Nations spokesman Damien Onses Cardona says that the logistical preparations are in order, and that the U.N. and Haitian police are confident Friday's vote will be peaceful. He says the elections are an important part of Haiti's political transition.

"I mean the transition is starting now - this was a provisional government, to get the country out of chaos or almost civil war, to a certain degree of normality," he said. "Now the work really starts, for this you need a president, you need a good government, you need a good parliament, and this is what will happen if tomorrow's elections are a success."

The elections will decide the outcome for 97 deputies and 30 senators.

Cardona says that parliamentary elections can have a major impact on the country's ability to rebuild its democratic institutions and enact much-needed legal reforms.

"Haiti is a country with a presidential system, which means the president has strong power. But the parliament - there are so many reforms that everybody has been saying the country needs, for months, not just us," said Cardona. "The reform of justice, reform of the penal criminal code. All these are work of the parliament, not of the president."

The prime minister will be chosen by the parliament, and will serve alongside president-elect Rene Preval.

Is there a better example than Haiti of why you should try the American form of government, not the French?

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 21, 2006 11:27 AM

"Is there a better example than Haiti of why you should try the American form of government, not the French?"

How about France?

Posted by: b at April 21, 2006 2:33 PM