Boniface Alexandre the 54th President of Haiti assumed office in the year 2004 and stepped down in the year 2006. He took over the post from Jean-Bertrand Aristide and he was succeeded by Rene Preval. Born on 31st 1936, he was groomed by his uncle, the first Prime Minister Martial Celestin of Haiti.
Honest Chief Justice
Boniface Alexandre was known for his honesty amidst the corrupt system of Haiti. He was the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court when Jean-Bertrand Aristide fled the country. Within six hours he took charge of the country and declared himself as the President
Leslie Francois Saint Roc Manigat was the full name of Leslie Manigat and he was born on August 16th 1930 in Port-au-Prince. He was an educator and a professor of world history and worked at the I'Universite' de Paris- VIII Vincennes.
Leslie Manigat published articles in many Haitian newspapers. Even though his interest was in the field of education, he had a stint in the political stage of Haiti. He contested for the post of the President along with ten other candidates.
This election which was held on January 17th 1988 was a military held election and it was completely under their control. Leslie Manigat won with 50.29% of votes but the voter turnout was very poor, less than 10%. The military controlled election must have been the reason for the poor turnout.
Joseph Nerette was born on April 9th in the year 1924. He lived for 83 years and his life saw many ups and downs. He was popular Haitian judge and had a long political career which culminated as the President of Haiti.
Joseph Nérette was the 48th president of Haiti. While he served his term as the president of Haiti Jean-Jacques Honorat was the Prime Minister. He was a provisional president of Haiti as the actual power rested with the military.
The military was headed by Michel Francois and Raoul Cedras who were really powerful leaders. As the power rested with the military there were no major changes initiated by Joseph Nérette as a president of Haiti.
Jean Bertrand Aristide was the first democratically elected president of Haiti. Born on July 15th 1953, Aristide grew up in dire poverty. His father died when he was three months and his mother moved to Port-au-Prince for a living.
Started Off As Priest
Seeking a better life he was put into the Salesian order of priest and studied in their colleges. For his studies he traveled to many countries in Europe. Jean Bertrand Aristide returned to Haiti for his ordination as priest. He was made curate of Saint Jean Bosco, a small parish in Port-au-Prince.
Herard Abraham was born on July 28th 1940 in Port-au-Prince. At a very young age he enlisted himself into the Haitian army. He rose in the ranks of the army and also had a short stint in politics. So he can be called an army man and a political figure.
Hérard Abraham rose to the position of Lieutenant General of the Haitian Force Arme D'Haiti and became a close member of the inner circle of the Duvalier family.
In spite of being close to the Duvalier Family, Herard Abraham joined hands with the new president Henri Namphy. He served as the foreign minister in the new government, his first political post.
Rene Preval was the President of Haiti for two terms though not consecutive terms. The first term as the 52nd president was from 1996 to 2001 and the term of the 55th president was from 2006 to 2011. He served the country for two full terms.
Exposure from Young Age
Born on January 14th 1943 to an agronomist, he went on to study business and biology. His father had served as the Minister of Agriculture and Rene Preval has enough exposure to the ways of the government from a young age.
The Haitian government is led by a president, who shares his/her executive power with the prime minister. Once elected by popular vote, the president will run the country for five years. After the term, the president could not run in the next election. He/she has to wait for five years in order to seek a second term. Haiti presidents can only serve for a maximum of two terms.
Not everyone can run for president as there are certain qualifications and requirements to be eligible for the seat. Only candidates with Haitian citizenship by birth can run for the position, as well as those who are at least 35 years of age. Jail sentence, loss of civil rights and lack of property ownership and residency can make a candidate ineligible to assume the position.
By May 14, 2011 Haiti will have a record number of former presidents in the country. It will be the first time that happen in the history of Haiti.
Former Haitian President Boniface Alexandre is in Haiti, living a quit life. We recently have two controversial former leaders who made celebrity comeback to Haiti in 2011: Jean-Claude Duvalier and Jean-Bertraned Aristide. By the end of his term on May 14, president Rene Preval will join the list of former Haitian presidents as well.
How can Haiti make good use of all these former leaders?
Today, we are Monday, January 31, 2011; or seven days before February 7 and counting. Will Rene Preval leave office by February 7 as the Haitian constitution requires?
And that is the question many people are asking.
- Will he stay until March?
- Will he stay in power for another 5 years?
The Haitian constitution mandates that a new president takes office on February 7, 2011. The president is elected for 5 years and has to leave office on February 7. Rene Preval officially started his second term as president of Haiti on May 14, 2006. Rene Preval recently stated that he could stay in power until May 14, 2011 to complete his full five year term.
President Rene Preval is urging for continuity in Haiti and admitted that replacing him with a transitional government would not be good for Haiti. According to Preval: "My goal as president has been that when I leave, I am replaced by an elected president and an elected parliament is in place."
In the November election in Haiti, several candidates accused the government and CEP of committing massive fraud and called for its annulations. Preliminary results published recently gave the lead to Mirlande Manigat with 31 percent of the votes and with Jude Celestin coming second with 22 percent. This results caused mass demonstration in the streets as they were rejected by candidate Michel Martell and the population. The country was paralyzed for several days and several properties were destroyed by supporters of Michel Martelly.
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