Monday, November 25, 2013

Election Day

Yesterday was election day in Honduras.  A president is voted in for one four year term.  This is the second election since I have lived in Honduras. 

In June 2009, a president was constitutionally removed from office.  There was much anxiety in this country from June to November.  There were rumors of potential riots and other problems if a certain party won.  There were a few issues, but once the election was over, things got back to normal quickly.

Election day is the last Sunday of November.  Laws concerning this day are very different from anything we would know in the United States.  There is a dry law from 6:00 p.m. on Friday until 3:00 p.m. on Monday.  A person cannot even be seen drinking in his own yard.  This does not mean anything to me, since I don't drink any way, but to a lot of people it is a big deal.  All the groceries stores takes tarps and completely cover any and all alcohol.

Churches are not suppose to have services until after 6:00 p.m., after the polls close.  I guess the power of prayer could swing the elections one way or another.  Our church had church yesterday morning and I know of others that did, too.

Most places of business were closed yesterday.  And, the ones that were open had severely reduced hours.  There was almost no traffic.  The mall was open, but more than half of the stores in it were closed.  We will never see the streets of Tegucigalpa that traffic free again.

Most polling places are in walking distance since so many people do not have cars.  Therefore, there are many, many polling places.  The lines to vote did not seem especially long, but there hundreds of people outside of each place.

The counting is done my hand.  In my opinion, that opens the door to all kinds of corruption.   There were rumors swirling of corruption.  And, I know it happened.  Melissa said she did not usually vote because she thought all candidates were crooked.  Probably so.  But, yesterday Melissa voted because she was given 500 lempiras to do so.  That is $25.00  There was no attempt to hide this bribery.  Poor people that have nothing can be bought fairly easily.

I can tell that the mayor has just been re-elected as the fireworks go off and horns are honking and there is yelling and cheering in the streets.  This whole town has erupted into victory chants.  It is a bit crazy.

Yesterday, two different parties declared their candidate a winner for president.  There are marches now in Tegucigalpa near the presidential house.  The official winner will be declared at 4:00 p.m.  Who knows what will happen.

Many places anticipated problems and closed for the day.  Haley and Karla did not have school.  Teleton was closed, as was other places.

Please pray for peaceful resolution. 

No comments: