"A democratic wedding"
That's the popular in Palestine these days to describe the elections, which have finally taken place. I'll make this post brief, as I'm exhausted from covering the vote all day. As I write this post, testosterone charged Fateh hooligans have taken to celebrating in the streets, honking horns, flying their trademark yellow flags, and shooting into the air (one bullet just nicked our family room's window).
Initial exit polls show Fateh with a narrow lead in the national districts, but pollster Shikaki says its very possible they will not form a majority. Either way, its pertinent to remember the significance of all this-that Fateh and Hamas have nearly split the vote in half. I think both parites will be please because Hamas doesn't want to be a majority and have to make the difficult decision.
A little on the voting itself: my finger looks horribly bruised (according to yousuf, who asks "wa wa? wa wa? meaning is it hurt? everytime he sees it). I tried to convince the election worker to only put the tip of my finger in that dreadful ink, but she dunked the whole thing in there. All tricks to make the ink removal easier failed to follow through (clear nail polish painted on before the voting; vaseline, etc.).
The election workers -more like election nazis- were taking theier jobs very seriously, which was good up to a point. sometimes i felt they focussed too much on procedure, too little on actually helping voters who may have been confused. At one point I put my ballot into the box, and didn't fold it, and got yelled at in front of ëveryone "no no you MUST fold it-stop" . I felt like I was carrying a bomb all of a sudden, and got very nervous, and finally the man calmed me donw "its ok, just go sloooowly, take your time."
More tommororw I hope!