The Organization of American States, saying it deplored violence that aborted Haiti's national election Nov. 29, called on the military-dominated government yesterday to take "all necessary measures" to restore the democratic process by holding free elections.
The 31-nation OAS, meeting here in special session at the request of the United States and 14 other countries, acted after hearing a pledge from Haiti's foreign minister, Col. Herard Abraham, that democracy will soon become a reality in that country.
Abraham said his government does not object to the OAS action, which came in the form of a resolution adopted by unanimous consent after Chile's representative said his country would not take part.
Diplomatic sources have said the resolution in part is aimed at reassuring Haitians that neither the OAS nor its individual members intend to intervene in Haiti.
Reports circulated in Haiti last week that the United States and others might attempt to send in a multinational force to supervise new elections.
But representatives of several OAS member nations stressed yesterday their opposition to any attempt to intervene in Haitian affairs. The resolution specified that, in accordance with the OAS charter, nations have a "fundamental duty" not to intervene "directly or indirectly" in another country.
U.S. officials said that they are pleased by the vote and that they hope it will send a strong signal to the three-member ruling National Government Council, headed by Gen. Henri Namphy, that OAS members want to see free elections.
Namphy's government has vowed that an elected president will be inaugurated by Feb. 7, second anniversary of the ouster of dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier. Haiti has not had free national elections in 30 years.
U.S. Ambassador Richard T. McCormack said at the session that it is important that new elections "go forward speedily" and that they be fair and honest.
"If these elections do not have credibility in the eyes of the people of Haiti, it will be an invitation to utter disaster," McCormack said.
A constitution approved in a plebiscite in March provides that the elections be run by an independent Haitian board composed of representatives of the church and human rights and other groups.
After widespread violence and killing by forces opposed to the elections nine days ago, voting was canceled, and Namphy dissolved the appointed electoral board.
Namphy's government has strongly criticized the board, accusing it of bias and of failing to organize voting procedures adequately.
Foreign diplomats and Haitian politicians have defended the board, saying no concrete evidence has emerged of any attempt by the board to rig the elections.
Namphy's government is attempting to form a new board, but five of the eight broad confederations that are to be represented on it have refused to take part.
Abraham told reporters yesterday that the new board could be in place by the end of this week. He said the constitution provides for the government to appoint members if designated groups refuse to take part.
"I guarantee that the Haitian government will transfer power by Feb. 7," Abraham said. "The National Government Council has no political ambitions."
A State Department official said yesterday that the United States is not pressing for specific individuals to be on the electoral board but wants the members to come from the eight designated groups, which would help guarantee broad participation and honest elections.
"We don't want to see the deck stacked," the official said.