Haitian citizens are in a heated and violent debate related to the presidential election. The first round of voting was controversial with no clear outcome decided. Protests followed which were violent but also awakening as accounts of fraud were made public. Originally, the first round votes were supposed to be announced three weeks ago on the 20th of December. Since a decision has not been made, the runoff vote scheduled for Jan 16th will also have to be pushed back. It’ll likely be at least a month after the original results are finally tallied before a second round of votes can be held. The Organization of American States is handling the review of results from the first round. The political chaos is just one of many issues that continue to weigh on Haitian citizens. Recurring problems still remain from the earthquakes and the more recent Cholera outbreaks. The death toll continues to rise but despite all that some citizens amazingly maintain relatively positive spirits – finding comfort in the “consistency” of all of the political debates throughout a nation of disarray. The overwhelming sentiment for many Haitians is that the matter is in God’s hands, their only true incorruptible leader, keeping their faith that things will be okay.
Former President Bill Clinton is recovering this week after being hospitalized for a heart procedure on Thursday. The former President was admitted to New York Presbyterian Hospital to have a procedure in which doctors inserted two stents in his heart that helps clear the coronary arteries while also allowing for greater blood flow to the heart. The operation came six years after the former President had a quadruple bypass, and after feeling some discomfort this week doctors felt that tests and the procedure was needed to clear a blocked artery. Adviser Doug Band stated that the former President is now recovering at home, is in excellent health, good spirits, and could possibly even get back to work by Monday.
The President was visited by his wife and current Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton, and left the hospital a day after the procedure with a clean bill of health by doctors. This is good news for the Former President not just from a health perspective, but also because it will not slow down his tireless work ethic and humanitarianism. Getting back to good health is vital for the busy former President who is not only coordinating Haiti relief and support efforts but is also working within his foundation, The Clinton Global Initiative on many other humanitarian issues and philanthropy efforts across the globe. The former President even entered the hospital taking a conference call regarding Haiti relief efforts but was forced to give up his phone in order to have the procedure. This shows, if nothing else, that even something as important as heart surgery cannot slow the former President down from trying to make a difference.
Bill Clinton and George W. Bush are spearheading a fundraiser relief effort for Haiti at the request of President Obama. While Bush said he doesn’t miss the spotlight, he says he believes his role post presidency is to use his resources to help where he can. He believes the immediate goal for the relief effort is to save as many lives as possible and then develop a strategy from there. Bill Clinton said that his role Post Presidency is not to tell the current President [Obama] what to do but to show up and help when asked to do so. Together they should be able to raise a significant amount of money and resources for Haiti. It’s a very unique situation to see them working together. However, despite the fact that they do not always agree on everything, they’ve always considered each other good friends. In this particular case, they do not have to worry about choosing political sides since they both agree that the right thing to do is help Haiti in every way possible.
Read more about Bush, Clinton and gain a perspective from Clinton’s counselor, Doug Band, on the collaboration of the two by following the embedded link to the NY Times article.