The Americas

OAS commends Haiti for concluding vote, notes low turnout

  • Voters gather at a marketplace being used as a voting center in the Canape Vert neighborhood of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Sunday, Jan. 29, 2017. Haiti is holding a final round of legislative contests that close a repeatedly derailed election cycle that started in 2015. (AP Photo/David McFadden)

    Voters gather at a marketplace being used as a voting center in the Canape Vert neighborhood of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Sunday, Jan. 29, 2017. Haiti is holding a final round of legislative contests that close a repeatedly derailed election cycle that started in 2015. (AP Photo/David McFadden)  (The Associated Press)

  • Voters gather at a marketplace being used as a voting center in the Canape Vert neighborhood of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Sunday, Jan. 29, 2017. Haiti is holding a final round of legislative contests that close a repeatedly derailed election cycle that started in 2015. (AP Photo/David McFadden)

    Voters gather at a marketplace being used as a voting center in the Canape Vert neighborhood of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Sunday, Jan. 29, 2017. Haiti is holding a final round of legislative contests that close a repeatedly derailed election cycle that started in 2015. (AP Photo/David McFadden)  (The Associated Press)

International monitors are commending Haitian authorities for finishing an electoral cycle that started in 2015 but express concern over the low participation rate by voters.

The Organization of American States had 77 observers monitoring a final round of legislative contests as well as long-overdue municipal elections held Sunday.

In a preliminary report Monday, the mission said holding local elections after 10 years was "an important milestone for the consolidation of democratic institutions in Haiti."

At the same time it noted that "few citizens chose to cast their vote," especially in urban areas.

Haiti's electoral officials have not released an official participation rate yet but turnout appeared to be paltry in numerous voting stations across the country.