February 8, 2006

ACHY AND ANNOYED BUT PROUD:

Haitians pack polls for presidential election (Danna Harman, 2/07/06, USA TODAY)

Haitians streamed to polling stations Tuesday to vote in presidential and parliamentary elections they hoped would improve conditions in the hemisphere's poorest country. [...]

Voter turnout for the first elections since an armed revolt ousted president Jean-Bertrand Aristide two years ago was high, said Stephane LaCroix, a spokesman for the Electoral Council. About 3½ million of Haiti's 8.3 million people were registered to vote.

Despite concerns that the election would be marred by the rampant violence that has claimed hundreds of lives here, calm reigned — under the watch of 9,000 United Nations peacekeepers and police and 5,000 Haitian police. [...]

The long lines and logistical problems didn't deter voters, who thronged to the 800 polling stations. Augustine Monique, 48, in line for two hours at a station that had still not opened, said she felt achy and annoyed but would wait as long as it took.

"I am waiting for something," she explained with a smile, turning over her laminated voter ID card with a hint of pride. "A better life."


You have to admire a people who've been so ill-served by their leaders yet still have hope for the future and faith in democracy.

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 8, 2006 9:58 AM
Comments

Haitians are hard working and cheerful for all their troubles and with a government that stays off their backs, provides security and stability, Haiti could well be a model for the region. Any chance of that happening? Nah.

Posted by: erp at February 8, 2006 7:22 PM
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