Baby Doc Jean Claude Duvalier, the Youngest President of Haiti

Baby Doc Jean Claude Duvalier was the son of Papa Doc Francois Duvalier, the 40th Haitian president who was a famous dictator and had once proclaimed to be the President for life. Jean Claude Duvalier took over the throne after his father's death in 1971 at the age of 19 years. He remains to be the youngest president ever to have reigned over any state or country.


After his rise to power, Baby Doc Jean Claude Duvalier initiated some changes which were drawing Haiti closer to democratic leadership. He released some of the political prisoners who had been jailed, replaced the cabinet members with younger ones and made press quite independent. However, he was no better than his father as he pinned down any opposition and appointment of major government officials were still under his control. His mother, Simone, also offered vital political support to ensure that his son remained in power. To some extent, it worked out well as Baby Doc Jean Claude Duvalier managed to survive on the throne till 1986.

His reign started experiencing trembling shakes after his newly married wife Michele Bennet took over his mother's role. From 1980, Duvalier's rule was not at ease but he managed to survive the social unrest to the beginning of 1986 when he fled to France. Haiti's leadership was undertaken by military forces in the hands of Henri Namphy. Immediately after his succession, there were concerns to file him in court with a slew of cases which violated human rights but he narrowly escaped it. Recently, in 2011, Baby Doc Jean Claude Duvalier returned to Haiti where he had some pending cases to answer. He was eventually put under charges for embezzlement of funds and corruption.

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Read more: president, jean claude duvalier, baby doc, corruption, Francois Duvalier, government Corruption, Papa Doc, Michele Bennet, Henri Namphy, embezzlement, 1971, 1986, 2011, Government

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