Franck Sylvain Brief Presidency

Franck Sylvain, Haiti's 37th president, began life in his birthplace of Grand-Goâve. He earned a law degree, practicing as an attorney after graduation. He later was appointed to the bench as a Civil-Law Court judge, rendering a decision in favor of one of President Paul Magloire's intimate friends. For that political favor he was retained by President Magloire for further government legal matters.


Sylvain began his political career when he established The Crusade, a pro-active publication that raised the consciousness of the Haitian people about Communism's imminent threat to Haiti's struggle for democracy. He also headed a political party, Rally for the Haitian People, an underground organization.

After Magloire left office, the government of Haiti (GOH) installed provisional president Joseph Nemours Pierre-Louis, who served in office three months. It was then the GOH chose Sylvain as another provisional president. He held office two months when the military's General Léon Cantave staged a coup, removing Sylvain from office. The Executive Government Council ruled for seven weeks, before another provisional president, Daniel Fignolé, was appointed. Fignolé served less than a month before Chairman of the Military Council, Antonio Kebreau, took over for four months before François Duvalier took the helm for 14 years. Six rulers held the office of the presidency in 1957, with Sylvain's rule one of the briefest.

After Sylvain left office, he penned an autobiography, The 46 Days of Franck Sylvain, detailing the events, surrounding his time in office. He died at the age of 88, in January 1987.

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Read more: president, Coup D'Etat, Haitian President, Grand-Goave, Franck Sylvain, Communism, Leon Cantave, Previous Government

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