Parliamentary Chamber: Sénat


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Dates of elections / renewal (from/to):

  6 April 1997

Purpose of elections:

  Renewal of one-third (9) of the Senate seats on the normal expiry of the members' term of office. Partial elections had previously taken place in June and September 1995.

Background and outcome of elections:

  The campaign for the biennial partial elections - this time for one-third (9) of the Senate seats - lasted 39 days. Altogether 45 candidates from 15 parties, as well as 25 independents, were in the running, with the most being presented by the Lavalas Political Organisation (OPL). Simultaneous polling took place for two seats of the Chamber of Deputies and hundreds of posts at the municipal and district levels.

The first round of voting (on 6 April) produced only two outright winners and was marked by a low turnout which even surpassed that anticipated by foreign monitors. Analysts attributed this high abstention rate as reflecting general discontent with the Government of President of the Republic René Préval and frustration with socio-economic difficulties, especially unemployment.

On 21 May, the Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) indefinitely postponed the second round run-off elections for the remaining seven seats. This was done following international pressure (especially by the Organisation of American States) and a boycott threat by the OPL, the pro-government majority party, which alleged serious irregularities during the first round and thus challenged the declaration of the two announced winners.


  Results never published, there is a dispute

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Copyright © 1997 Inter-Parliamentary Union