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Haiti’s New President, a Political Novice, Takes Oath of Office

LADB Article ID: 80233
Category/Department: Haiti
Date: 2017-03-09
By: George Rodríguez

A newcomer to the political scene, President Jovenel Moïse sees himself as a leader who will guide Haiti along the path of justice and stability, promoting national dialogue and prioritizing the people’s well-being. Such was the commitment he made shortly after being sworn-in as Haiti’s 58th president, following two years of political chaos and repeatedly postponed elections. In a 25-minute address during which he alternated between Créole and French, the country’s two official languages, Moïse said he would focus on economic recovery in order to foster lasting growth, and promised that members of the new government would be appointed “following criteria of competence, merit, and probity.” The new president comes to politics from the business world. He is an auto parts dealer and agricultural producer known as “Neg Bannan Nan” (Haitian creole for “Banana Man”). And agriculture is, precisely, one of Haiti’s critical economic sectors. It was drastically affected by last year’s Hurricane Matthew, which ripped through the country’s southwest destroying crops and infrastructure and claiming more than 1,000 lives.

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