Alexandre Lerouge - Cap-Haitian

Alexandre Lerouge, an outspoken school teacher of 62 years old from Cap-Haitian's northern town, became an opposition leader popularly elected under Duvalier dictatorship regime. Alexandre Lerouge had been repeatedly opposing soaring inflation and official corruption during his election campaigns. A Haitian businessman said, after the Feb 11, 1979 victory of Alexandre Lerouge that first time throughout the Duvalier regime did the government backed down and in case Alexandre did not win the election, the angry crowd would have burned down the entire Cap-Haitian into ashes.

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Alexandre Lerouge, Lagislator from Cap-Haitian

It was reported that prior to the election, incendiary devices and Molotov cocktails were readied in large scale in Cap-Haitian before the election kicked off. This was a fallback measure for the Cap-Haitian people in case the government decided to interfere with the election. The Duvalier regime used to hold an election every 6 years which rubber-stamped the instructions of the President for Life, Jean-Claude Duvalier. However, nothing really changed and the liberalization by the Baby Doc was actually a ploy to increase the inflow of foreign aid that never led to any kind of substantial changes.

Lerouge's win gave a whole new dimension to the electoral process. Sources said that Lerouge's anti-government position did not only arouse the people of Haiti but also deepened the crack between Jean-Claude Duvalier and his very powerful mother who had been opposing government reforms. Alexandre's growing popularity was a concern for the government that made a few half-hearted attempts stop Alexandre Lerouge from winning. The measures used were summoning Lerouge for a private meeting with Duvalier and deployment of 'Leopards' in the Cap-Haitian. During the private meeting, according to the sources, feeble attempts were made to bribe Lerouge. Since 1957, Alexandre Lerouge was arrested 10 times and he also escaped 4 Ton Ton Macoutes assassination attempts which earned him the image of a courageous activist that paved the path for his victory.

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Read more: jean claude duvalier, Cap-Haitian, People, Francois Duvalier, Deputy, Alexandre Lerouge, People

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