Nineteen.

Nineteen.

That’s the number of reservations I’ve had cancel on us due to the chaos and unrest surrounding the election here.

Recap:
-Presidential elections were held on October 25, but no one received a majority of the vote, so a runoff was going to be held on December 27
-current President Martelly is constitutionally barred from running, as Haiti’s constitution doesn’t allow for consecutive terms (Martelly also was basically put into office by the US–many have called out vote fixing)
-on December 22, it was announced it was being postponed indefinitely
-on January 1 (which happens to be Haiti’s Independence Day), President Martelly announced the runoff would be held January 17
-on January 7, Martelly changed the date of the runoff from January 17 to January 24
-70 candidates were initially in the running (64 men and 6 women)
-in June, the number of candidates was narrowed to 56
-now the runoff is between Jovenel Moïse (a banana exporter and President Martelly’s anointed candidate) and Jude Célestin, a centrist Swiss-trained engineer (who had the highest votes of 32.8% and 25%, respectively)
-since the initial Presidential elections in October, violent demonstrations have occurred, including rocks being thrown, tires being burned, gas stations set on fire, burned cars, smashed windows, barricaded roads, and setting fire to police stations and polling stations. Tear gas and arrests have been used to try to keep the peace, but the demonstrations and protests continue
-the United States State Department issued a travel alert on January 11, which will expire on April 7, 2016

“We asked the police and justice to take all measures to protect the lives and property of all.”

-President Martelly in his speech last night

Since I’m in Port-au-Prince, some of the aforementioned protests and demonstrations have been fairly close to me, but I’m staying put within the walls of Matthew 25 as much as I can. Many aren’t as lucky to have safe walls around them that I do. Prayers please, for peace and for the safety of our brothers and sisters in Christ.

**1/23/2016 update: last night, it was announced that the runoff is once again being postponed due to “too much violence throughout the country.” President Martelly was supposed to announce this last night, but cancelled because of the protests and demonstrations

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