Though I am halfway around the world in Bangladesh, it is worth noting that today is a very big day for Haiti as Haitians take to the polls for a run-off presidential election. As you may remember, presidential elections last November were fraught with controversy. The government certified that its preferred candidate edged out Michel Martelly to face Mirlande Manigat in a run-off election.
Martelly’s supporters quickly took to the streets to protest and an independent analysis by a team sent from the Organization for American States confirmed the vote rigging. The government then re-certified the election in favor or Martelly, which brings us to the vote today.
Martelly is better known as “Sweet Micky” and is a famous Haitian pop singer. This is his first foray into politics. Manigat is a political fixture and former first lady. Their platforms are somewhat similar, but it’s basically an insider, establishment type versus a personally popular outsider. In the midst of all this, the populist preacher-turned president-turned-exile Jean -Betrand Aristide returned to Haiti this weekend after seven years in South Africa. No one seems to know how his return may affect the election results one way or the other.
So, stay tuned. And let’s all hope for a fair and violence free election on Sudan. Results are expected at the end of the month. In the meantime, here’s a sample of the musical stylings of Sweet Micky.