Haiti in Crisis….Again

While most Americans were celebrating Thanksgiving, Haitians took to the polls in the first presidential election since the earthquake last January.

Preliminary election results were announced earlier this week. And that is when le merde things hit the fan.   Have a look:

That’s just one of many scenes of rioting since the election, which has grown worse since Tuesday’s announcement of preliminary results.  American Airlines has cancelled all flights into the country. The Canadian Embassy is shut down. That sort of thing.

At issue is who will be able to stand in the run-off.  As it stands, Mirlande Manigat, a former first lady, has won 31.4% of the vote; Jude Célestin, a business executive backed by the current president won 22.5%; and Michel “Sweet Mikey” Martelly, a pop singer, won 21.8%.  Since no candidate won over 50% of the vote, the top two vote getters compete in a run-off election. The question is: which two actually won?

Amid protests, the Haitian election commission said it would quickly recount the votes with foreign observers and representatives from the three camps on hand.  The only problem is, given what we have seen so far, it seems doubtful that the loser will go quietly.   Stay tuned.