Thursday, February 16, 2006

The New President

Yesterday morning at 6:30 am I awoke to thousands of people marching down my street chanting Preval's name. (I have digital video to prove it!) Sometime while I was sleeping Rene Preval was declared President. I'm baffled that it took over a week to tally votes and they still didn't finish counting, yet the commission to investigate the count made a decision in less than 24 hours on how to award the presidency. On one hand I can't blame them. They had to act fast to avoid further deterioration of the situation, but on the other hand it does seem a bit fishy. What they decided to do was divide the blank votes among the candidates according to the percentage of votes each candidate already had. To justify it, they found a loophole in Haitian law-- or rather, there's no law that says they can't do it.

I do have a great sense of relief that this crisis is over. I was getting tired of being stuck in my house and counting supplies to make sure we had enough to last how ever long we might need them. Two sacks of rice, check. Fifteen gallons of drinking water, check. Matches and toilet paper, check. It gets tiring really fast! There are other little questions that nag on the mind, too, such as will I have enough minutes on my cell phone? Can I buy more and where since all the stores are closed? (Since all minutes are prepaid) If I have to evacuate what will I take?

But for now, I'm back at work and things appear to be getting back to Haitian normal. There's already word that some people aren't happy with the way the election was decided, but there's always people who aren't going to be happy. Let's hope they don't cause too much of a ruckus so that Preval can establish his government and bring some stability and security to this country.

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