It was quite a week for politics here in Port au Prince. 24 candidates are now registered for President - and once you're registered you are on the ballot. The last Presidential election had 68 candidates vying for the top spot. This week Wyclef Jean threw his hat into the mix which gnarled traffic for a full day with thousands wearing his parties t-shirt and celebrating by scrawling his message everywhere. The election is currently scheduled for November 28.
As you can imagine, the campaigning is quite creative with a need to reach the masses. One popular technique is to hire people that create impromptu Rah-Rah bands that march through the busiest streets at the most popular times, blocking traffic and becoming front and center in your universe, like the one shown below.
The other political aspect to the week was a visit from some Congressional members at one of our camps. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer led a bipartisan Congressional Delegation to Haiti for a day. Roscoe Bartlett, David Price, Yvette Clarke, Donna Edwards and Aaron Schock joined him. I always have such mixed feelings with such a visit. They arrived in Haiti at 10am and went to the US Embassy for a briefing, then off to the Palace for a meeting with Haitian President Preval before meeting us at the Old Military Camp for a 20 minute run through before rushing back to the airport for a 3:20 takeoff. While such visits are extremely important to provide the information, show the need and the progress I always wonder what the people in the streets are thinking as they see these diplomatic vehicles whizzing by with lights on and sirens blaring. I wonder even more about the people sitting at their tents watching such heavily armed guards protecting these important visitors from them.