We went away for a couple days, returned to a brand new war and this strange, minute but complex news item. On Sunday, Haiti’s 4.7 million voters began the second runoff round of the presidential election between Michel “Sweet Micky” Martelly, a popular musician and political newcomer, and former first lady Mirlande Manigat, a matriarchal 70 year-old law professor whose slogan is banm manman’m, or, give me mummy.
Martelly’s slogan is tet kale. It means all the way, referring to his all-the-way bald head and his promise for aggressive, complete political change in Haiti. Rejected Haitian presidential candidate Wyclef Jean is all the way behind Martelly and was on the island over the weekend to support him. Jean claims he was shot in the hand after stepping out of a car to make a phone call in the Delmas section of Port Au Prince. On Sunday, Jean and fellow former Fugee Pras Michel were back to safely doing the rounds in the “new Haiti,” “monitoring for fraud.” Jean said, “The way I can explain it is that the bullet grazed me in my right hand. I heard blow, blow, blow and I just looked at my hand.” Doctors at the hospital where he was patched up and ace-bandaged beg to differ. Police chief Vanel Lacroix told Reuters he, “met with the doctor who saw him and he confirmed Wyclef was cut by glass.”
Does thrown glass sound and feel like a gunshot? What interest do Haitian police have in dismissing Jean’s claim and playing down election violence? Only 23% of registered voters participated in this round of polls. Initial results will be announced March 31— Pras’ report of early exit polls puts Martelly ahead: