Jovenel Moise, 58th President

New Haiti president sworn in
Elected president Jovenel Moise

Elected president Jovenel Moise

PORT-AU-PRINCE. – Jovenel Moise was sworn yesterday as Haiti’s 58th president, ending a protracted electoral crisis that had created a vacuum of power in the impoverished, disaster-prone Caribbean nation.Moise, a 48-year-old banana exporter who has never held political office, took the oath at a ceremony at the National Assembly.

He was former president Michel Martelly’s hand-picked choice to lead Haiti, that is still struggling to recover from devastating natural disasters.

The election of Moise, from the centre-right Tet Kale Party (PHTK), ends the Caribbean nation’s long-running political nightmare, which began in October 2015 when he won a first round of voting but the results were annulled because of massive fraud.

In February 2016, with Martelly’s five-year term nearing its end and his political succession in limbo, Haiti’s parliament elected Jocelerme Privert, president of the Senate at the time, to be interim president.

The elections were rescheduled for October and then postponed to November after Hurricane Matthew battered the country.

Austerity has been the motto of the inauguration ceremony, as Haiti is suffering from an economic crisis with more than $2 billion in debt and anaemic growth that is not expected to surpass one percent this year.

According to Moise’s transition team, the inaugural costs are close to $1 million, a tighter budget than those of predecessors Rene Preval and Martelly, which cost more than $4 million and $2 million, respectively.

Moise said he had invited 53 other former presidential candidates to signal his willingness to ease political tensions.

But the country’s political temperature remains high, with several of his main opponents contesting his first-round victory. The businessman is also at the centre of an unresolved money laundering probe. He denies any wrongdoing. – AFP.


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