Run-Off Election Over
"We are all Winners" is what t-shirst printed by the National Elections Commission say. Well, anyone who has spent anytime in any politically correct educational institution knows that this is something a good-hearted teacher tells LOSERS. Apparantly, supporters of George Weah buy into this slogan as little as I did in school. The LOSERS of the election marched on the American embassy yesterday afternoon, but were dispersed by tear-gas and batons. Unfortunately for me, some of our observers had gotten into cars for some last-minute sight-seening and shopping, and were stuck in the gridlock that resulted from UNMIL's response; which included tanks, armored personell carries and ohter vehicles rumbling and racing through the streets. In the end, and after quite a bit of worrying on my behalf, the observers made it back to the hotel, onto a bus, a plane - and I was able to wave GOODBYE, LATER (thank GOD that is all over).
Elections here have really been some of the most transparant and well organized that I have seen. Despite some SNAFUs on behalf of the chairman of the National Elections Commission things are going reasonably well, and Africa will have its first female president, EVER. Liberia may be able to re-build, and I will likely move onto other projects having learned A LOT form this project, the people and good collegues. While I am staying until February to do some post-election assesments, and capacity building work, the bulk of the STRESSFUL and intense work is over. It was tough, but very fun at times.