12 Jul 2013 11:19

SANTO DOMINGO, July 5 (BERNAMA-NNN-XINHUA) -- The United Nations Stabilisation Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) on Thursday urged Haitian authorities to work hard towards holding legislative and local elections this year.

As a preliminary step, Haiti needs to approve, as soon as possible, a bill to amend the electoral law, which was submitted to the parliament by the country's Executive Power at the beginning of the week, MINUSTAH said in a statement.

"To hold free, transparent, credible and inclusive elections is one of the mission's tasks, also a prior requisite to guaranteeing the continuity and stability of the institutional pillars of the rule of law," the statement said.

Haiti was supposed to have held parliamentary and local elections in 2011 to elect one third of the Senate or 10 seats, 142 councillors and 570 deputies throughout the country, but they were held up by political infighting.

The UN mission also called on all Haitian political parties to reach a consensus on the amendment, because "it will permit the creation of a sovereign, viable and sustainable electoral system."

In May, Haiti's transitional electoral authorities pinned the election schedule to legislators' enactment of the electoral law.