Haiti's presidential poll offers 'historic opportunity' for country, Ban says

Haitian national identity cards ready for distribution ahead of the 28 November 2010 elections

19 March 2011 – A day before Haitians head to the polls to vote for a new president, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged them to “take full advantage of this historic opportunity to shape the future of their country.”

The former first lady Mirlande Manigat and the popular musician Michel Martelly are contesting tomorrow's run-off round of presidential elections, four months after the first round was staged. Legislative elections are also being held tomorrow.

In a statement issued by his spokesperson, Mr. Ban stressed his hope that “a calm and peaceful atmosphere” prevails during voting.

“The Secretary-General calls on the Haitian authorities, the candidates, their supporters and the population as a whole to ensure that Sunday's vote provides the political stability Haiti requires for its recovery, reconstruction and long-term development.”

The UN peacekeeping mission in Haiti, known as MINUSTAH, issued a similar call earlier this week and underscored the need for all sides to refrain from violence or any acts of harassment or intimidation.


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