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EU: Haitian Election Should Take Place as Scheduled

Man, carrying woman with cholera symptoms, walks past campaign posters showing presidential candidate Jude Celestin in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, 11 Nov., 2010.

The head of the European Union's diplomatic mission in Haiti says nationwide elections should take place this Sunday as scheduled - despite the cholera epidemic currently ravaging the Caribbean country.

Lut Fabert told reporters in Port-au-Prince, the Haitian capital, on Monday that postponing the vote could threaten the nation's stability. He said the EU at the moment sees no obstacle preventing the election from taking place.

EU monitors are on hand to observe the voting, and security is being provided by the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti, MINUSTAH.

Haiti will be electing a new president, replacing Rene Preval, who cannot run again. Voters will also elect a 99-member lower house and 11 members of the 30-seat Senate.

With the cholera death toll continuing to rise, now climbing beyond 1,300, some candidates participating in Sunday's balloting have suggested the election be postponed.

Besides the cholera epidemic, Haiti is still recovering from last January's earthquake, which killed some 250,000 and left hundreds of thousands more homeless.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.