Wednesday, March 23, 2011

And the winner of Haiti's presidential election is...


The results of Sunday’s runoff between musician Michel Martelly and former First Lady Mirlande Manigat continue to be tabulated. Preliminary results are expected to be announced one week from tomorrow while the final tally will be confirmed in mid-April.

In the meantime, it appears as if the real victors are the Haitian electorate who supposedly turned out in large numbers to some voting centers. According to Euronews:

International electoral observers praised the peaceful nature of Sunday’s vote despite political turmoil over the last several months and a problematic first round last November. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon congratulated Haiti on "the successful conduct" of the runoff while E.U. officials approved the manner in which the election was conducted.

Sunday’s vote was not devoid of problems such as polls opening late, missing voting materials and some harassment by partisan followers. Yet it has been reported that such inconveniences pale in comparison to the accusations in the first round of ballot stuffing and interference by President Rene Preval.

Former president Jean-Bertrand Aristide’s return from exile last worried U.S. diplomats but it seems as that his return did not lead to any widespread violence on Election Day. He came back to Haiti on Friday but he has since kept a low profile and rejected endorsing ether Martelly or Manigat.

The calmness after Sunday’s vote can perhaps best be explained by the stronger emphasis some media outlets seem to place on musician Wyclef Jean’s gunshot wound instead of the elections.

Video Source – Euronews via YouTube
Online Sources – AHN, The Latin Americanist, Voice of America, Caribbean360, Reuters, BBC News

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