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Haitian Prime Minister Says UN to Provide Security for January Elections

Haiti's prime minister says the U.N. peacekeeping force there has given the government assurances that all necessary measures will be taken to secure polling places and protect candidates and voters during the January 8 presidential and legislative elections.

In an exclusive interview at VOA's Washington headquarters Friday, Prime Minister Gerard Latortue said election security will primarily be provided by the U.N. force. But he said the Haitian national police will play a major role.

He went on to say that after the elections, he would support a constitutional amendment allowing Haitians with dual citizenship to run for all offices and vote.

The January eighth election date was posted after Haiti's electoral board postponed the voting for the fourth time, citing poor organization and a lack of resources for the poll.

If no candidate wins an absolute majority, a runoff election will be held February 15th. According to a recent electoral decree, the president-elect will take office on February 24th, but Prime Minister Latortue said his government will function in a caretaker capacity on February seventh if no one wins outright.

Earlier, Mr. Latortue met with the secretary-general of the Organization of American States, Jose Miguel Insulza, who voiced confidence in next month's electoral process.