Saturday, February 12, 2011

Oh Politics!!

After several months, the announcement has been made about who the top two candidates will be for the Presidential Election here in Haiti.  Back in November the first round was held and found that Mirlande Manigat was in first place, Jude Celestin in second, and Michel Joseph Martelly in third, causing him to be out of the election.  There was a lot of debate, and riots, because many people felt that Celestin only came in second because of fraud.  After a lot of research into it, they found out that he did in fact have a lot of fraudulent votes.  The international community recommended that he not be allowed to run in the second round; but Preval (our current president) announced that this was just a recommendation and not a requirement, even though he is the one who asked them to check into it.  Preval wants Celestin to become the president because he is afraid that he will be exiled.  Celestin has since backed out of the race, and now we will wait and see who wins from the other two candidates.  The second vote will be held on March 20th, another month and a half from now.
On Monday there were riots all over Haiti because people want Preval out of office now.  Heres the problem.  The president is allowed to govern for 5 years, and Preval’s term “should” have been up the beginning of February.  However, when Preval was elected, there was some hold ups (imagine that) and he wasn’t actually sworn into office until early May.  Preval has announced that he will remain in office until exactly five years since then.  This angers many Haitians because in their eyes he has sat by idolly over the past year and they are ready for a change.  
However, it’s still going to be a while before the new president is decided and sworn into office, so until that time, some one needs to be here to run the place!!
And to make things even more exciting, exiled ex-dictators and presidents seem to be flocking back into Haiti.  I have discussed in past posts about Baby Doc returning recently.  Aristide, who was elected president, exiled, allowed back into the country, reelected president, and then once again re exiled, recently received his passport and has announced that he is also returning!!  YAY!!!  No one knows when he is going to come, but people seem to be positive he will!  This makes people both happy and nervous!!  Some people are saying that he will try to run for president during the next election five years from now.  Others say that he, like Baby Doc will be will be charged for crimes he committed (human rights crimes) when he returns.
DRAMA!!  This country is full of drama!  I can’t even keep up with it all.  I would assume that you all know way more about all of this than I do since you have news, radio, and high speed internet, but I try to repost the little that I hear.
Basically we are always prepared for riots to breakout these days, never knowing when they will come.  We heard that there was supposed to be five days of rioting this week, however there was only a little on Monday Morning and then it ended.  Who knows!  Riots seem to be so common here that most people don’t even care.  It is a some what normal conversation to ask if there are riots in town; it’s almost like asking “how was traffic today,” or “how’s your weather there.”  Oh Haiti I don’t know that I will ever understand!!
Once again read On the Goat Path for more info on all of this!!

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