Monday, November 29, 2010

Haitians Vote Today

A woman walks past election posters for Jude Celestin, considered the leading candidate in Haiti’s Presidential election. Amidst the rubble of the earthquake and still raging cholera epidemic Haitians voted today. 

Some of the presidential candidates wanted to postpone the elections because of the ongoing chaos wrought by the earthquake and now cholera. Public security is still iffy, the presence of about 12,000 “blue helmets” or United Nations peacekeepers and police help keep the gangs in check. (During my trip to Haiti earlier this month, I had to hire a “security detail” to watch my back while I photographed the cholera epidemic in the Cite Soleil slums, this is the first time I’ve ever had to hire bodyguards to work.) 

People started voting Sunday morning and by late afternoon most of the candidates (12 of 19) were already calling for the nullification of the election because of widespread vote fraud. It was reported that people were not able to find their polling places in Port-au-Prince and that demonstrations were breaking out in some parts of the capital. The Los Angeles Times called it “chaos.”