Haitian President Emile Jonassaint

Haiti's transition to democracy took a long process and a long line of political leaders before it was fully achieved. In the 1980s and 1990s, Haitians and the government had to deal with several sudden changes in leadership as one president to the next were overthrown by coup d'états, revolts, and even foreign pressure. One of these individuals who were cut short from their presidency due to ongoing political turmoil was Émile Jonassaint, who served for a mere five months from May to October 1994.


Emile Jonassaint 's former administration was considered a puppet government of the military regime that has earlier removed Jean-Bertrand Aristide from office in 1991 after he won the first free elections in Haiti. The short five months under Jonassaint's temporary rule was met with chaos and violence between Aristide supporters and the military. In 1994, the U.S. government intervened and negotiated with the Haitian president to give back Aristide's presidency. He agreed and signed the famous Port-au-Prince Accord and maybe avoided the U.S.'s invasion over the country that was being torn by politics. He died at the age of 82 a year later.

The former president is the oldest Haitian head of state who was aged 81 when he proclaimed. Emile Jonassaint began his career as a politician in the 1950s and was also a professor for a brief period. Before he was president, he worked for the Haitian Supreme Court. Jonassaint was also known for his strong belief in vodou, which he often referenced during a speech.

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