President of Haiti

The President of Haiti (French: Président de Haïti, Haitian Creole: Prezidan peyi Ayiti), officially called the President of the Republic of Haiti (French: Président de la République d'Haïti, Haitian Creole: Prezidan peyi Repiblik Ayiti) is the head of state of Haiti. Executive power in Haiti is divided between the president and the government headed by the Prime Minister of Haiti.[A133] The current president is Jovenel Moïse, who took office on February 7, 2017.

President of the
Republic of Haiti
Président de la
République d'Haïti
Prezidan peyi Repiblik Ayiti
Flag of Haiti
Jovenel Moise
Jovenel Moïse

since February 7, 2017
StyleHis Excellency[1]
Member ofCouncil of Ministers
ResidencePalais National
SeatPort-au-Prince, Haiti
Term lengthFive years
Renewable once non-consecutively
Inaugural holderAlexandre Pétion
FormationOctober 17, 1806
SuccessionPrime Minister

Term and election

The qualifications for the presidency are specified by Chapter III Section A (Articles 134 and 135) of the 1987 Constitution of Haiti.

The president is elected to a five-year term by popular vote. The president is not to be elected twice in a row: he may serve a second term only after an interval of five years, and must not run for a third term.[A134]

To be elected president, a candidate must:[A135]

  1. be a native-born Haitian and never renounced that nationality;
  2. have reached the age of 35 by election day;
  3. enjoy civil and political rights and not have been sentenced to death, or penal servitude or the loss of civil rights for a crime of ordinary law;
  4. be the owner of a real property and have one's habitual residence in the country;
  5. reside in the country at least 5 years before election day;
  6. have been discharged of responsibilities if previously handling public funds.

Elections are held on the last Sunday in November in the fifth year of the current president's term. However, the election time is not fixed according to the election held in 2015. If no candidate receives a majority, a runoff election is held between the top two candidates. Runoff candidate who have not withdrawn before the runoff, who have the highest number of votes will become the next president.[A134]

Each presidential term in office begins and ends on the first February 7 after presidential elections are held. However this is also altered after Michel Martelly became the president on May 11 of 2011. [A134]

Duties and powers

The qualifications for the presidency are specified by Articles 136 to 147, part of Chapter III Section B of the 1987 Constitution of Haiti. The president has no powers except those accorded to him in the Constitution.[A150]

The Constitution mandates that the president see to: the respect for and enforcement of the Constitution and the stability of the institutions; regular operations of the public authorities; the continuity of the State;[A136] and the nation's independence and the integrity of its territory.[A138]

When there is a majority in Parliament, the president must choose a prime minister from the majority party; otherwise, he chooses one after consultation with the two houses of Parliament. In either case, the choice must then be ratified by Parliament. The president terminates the duties of the prime minister when the Government resigns.[A137]

The president declares war and negotiates and signs peace treaties with the approval of the National Assembly,[A140] and signs all international treaties, conventions and agreements, submitting them to the National Assembly for ratification.[A139] The president accredits ambassadors and special envoys to foreign powers; receives letters of accreditation from ambassadors of foreign powers; and issue exequaturs to recognize consuls.[A139-1]

With the approval of the senate, the president appoints the Commander-in-chief of Haitian armed forces, Haitian police forces, ambassadors and consuls to foreign states.[A141]

With the approval of the Council of Ministers, the president of the Republic appoints the directors general of the civil service, and delegates and vice delegates of Departments and Arrondissements. [A142]

The president is also the head of Haitian armed forces.[A143]

The president ratifies laws and has the right to choose between ratifying a law or not. [A144]

The president could perform or commune sentences in all res judica cases, except ones carried by Supreme Court judges. The president, however, cannot grant amnesty to non-political prisoners. [A146][1]


The National Palace in the capital Port-au-Prince served as the official residence of the President of Haiti,[A153] but it was severely damaged in the 2010 Haiti earthquake, and demolished in 2012.

See also


^ [A___] citations are Article numbers of the 1987 Constitution of the Republic of Haiti. A government-issued but unofficial (and error-prone) English translation is available at and and the French original is available at


  1. ^ United Nations Heads of State Protocol and Liaison Service Heads of Government - Public List Ministers For Foreign Affairs


  • Schutt-Ainé, Patricia (1994). Haiti: A Basic Reference Book. Miami, Florida: Librairie Au Service de la Culture. p. 165. ISBN 0-9638599-0-0.
Charles Rivière-Hérard

Charles Rivière-Hérard also known as Charles Hérard aîné (16 February 1789 – 31 August 1850) was an officer in the Haitian Army under Alexandre Pétion during his struggles against Henri Christophe. He was declared President of Haiti on 4 April 1843. He was forced from office by revolutionaries on 3 May 1844.

Charles Rivière-Hérard was born in Port-Salut on 16 February 1789. Little about his early life is generally known, except that he fought with the revolutionaries against the French, and that he was an officer commanding a battalion of black troops, probably later in his military career.

Hérard was chief among the conspirators who ousted President Jean-Pierre Boyer during the 1843 Revolution. On 30 December of that same year, a Provisional Parliament of Haiti enacted a new Constitution, apparently without Hérard's approval. Soon afterward, General Hérard, who had the loyalty of the army, seized control of the government and declared himself President of Haiti.

Soon after Hérard's rise to power, the eastern half of Haiti, which at that time was Santo Domingo, staged a revolt. On 27 February 1844, rebels occupied the capital city of Santo Domingo and the following day declared the independence of the Dominican Republic from Haiti. Hérard responded almost immediately. Fielding an army of 25,000 soldiers on 10 March 1844, he entered the new Dominican Republic with the intent of returning the eastern half of the island to Haitian rule. He was quickly defeated, however, and within a month was forced to retreat with his army back into Haiti. Facing increasing opposition in the government and a rapidly deteriorating political situation within the country, on 30 March 1844 Hérard dissolved the new Constitution and the Parliament.

During Hérard's invasion of the Dominican Republic, an armed revolt began in the Haitian countryside. By the end of March 1844, a rebel army composed of peasants and farmers began to muster near the city of Les Cayes on the southwest peninsula. The rebels, known as piquets, were armed with long pikes (from which they derived their name). Gathering under the command of a General Jean-Jacques Acaau, they formed what became known as "L’Armée Souffrante" or the Army of the Sufferers. In April of that year, they met and defeated a government army, although soon after this, their advance on the Haitian capital was checked at the town of Aquin.

This however, did not provide a respite for Hérard. While General Acaau was marching against Port-au-Prince in the south, an armed revolt had begun in the North, fueled by Hérard's opponents in the government. Faced with this crisis, Hérard relinquished the Presidency on 3 May 1844. He went into exile on 2 June 1844, resettling in Jamaica, where he died on 31 August 1850.

Crown of Faustin I

The crown of Faustin I is the crown of Faustin-Élie Soulouque, who ruled as President of Haiti from 1847 to 1849 and as Emperor Faustin I of Haiti from 1849 to 1859. The crown is decorated with emeralds, diamonds, garnets, and other jewels. It had been exhibited in the Musée du Panthéon National Haïtien (MUPANAH). However, it was found that some jewels on the crown were stolen at some unknown time. Due to the vandalism it suffered, the crown was transferred, under high surveillance, to a safe place for protection on January 31, 2007.

Faustin Soulouque

Faustin-Élie Soulouque (15 August 1782 – 6 August 1867) was a Haitian politician and military commander who served as President of Haiti from 1847 to 1849 and Emperor of Haiti from 1849 to 1859.Soulouque was a general in the Haitian Army when he was appointed President of Haiti, acquiring autocratic powers to purge the army of the ruling elite, install black loyalists in administrative positions and the nobility, and created a secret police and a personal army. Soulouque was an enthusiastic vodouisant, maintaining a staff of bocors and mambos, and gave the stigmatized vodou religion semi-official status which was openly practiced in Port-au-Prince. Soulouque declared the Second Haitian Empire in 1849 after being proclaimed Emperor under the name Faustin I, and formally crowned in 1852. Several unsuccessful attempts to reconquer the Dominican Republic eroded his support and he abdicated in 1859 under pressure from General Fabre Geffrard and Dominican military victory. Soulouque was temporarily exiled to Jamaica before returning to Haiti where he died in 1867.

Soulouque was the last Haitian head of state to have participated in the Haitian Revolution, the last to have been born prior to independence, and the last ex-slave.

Florvil Hyppolite

Louis Mondestin Florvil Hyppolite (May 26, 1828 – March 24, 1896) was a general who served as the President of Haiti from 17 October 1889 to 24 March 1896.

François C. Antoine Simon

François C. Antoine Simon (a.k.a. Antoine Simon) (1843–1923) was President of Haiti from 6 December 1908 to 3 August 1911. He led a rebellion against Pierre Nord Alexis and succeeded him as president.

Jean-Baptiste Riché

Jean-Baptiste Riché (1780 – February 27, 1847) was a career officer and general in the Haitian Army. He was made President of Haiti on March 1, 1846.

Riché was born free, the son of a prominent free black man of the same name in the North Province of Saint-Domingue (the French colony that later became Haiti). His father was a sergeant in the colonial militia and probably served in the rebel forces. Riché himself joined the Haitian Revolutionaries probably some time in 1801. After Haiti gained independence at the end of the revolution in 1803, Riché joined the forces of Henri Christophe, who in 1807 promoted him to the rank of general and deputy commander of his army. During the civil war that followed between Alexandre Pétion and Christophe, Riché was instrumental in Christophe's victory at the Battle of Siebert on January 1, 1807. During the siege of Port-au-Prince in 1811, Riché commanded the left wing of Christophe's army. A loyal officer, Riché quickly became one of Christophe's most trusted commanders, and as a consequence he was placed in command of Haïti's Northern Province, where he was effective in subduing the mulatto population.

After Christophe's downfall in 1820, Riché supported the new government and was therefore able to retain his post during the subsequent administration of Jean-Pierre Boyer, and those that followed. This continued until Jean-Louis Pierrot became President of Haïti in 1845. Pierrot attempted to reform the Haitian government, causing the Boyerist hierarchy of Haiti to sponsor a rebellion in the provinces of Port-au-Prince and Artibonite in 1846. The rebel army under mulatto control proclaimed Riché president of Haiti on March 1, 1846. After much of the Haitian army sided with the rebels, President Pierrot relinquished his office on March 24, 1846. After gaining the presidency of Haiti, one of Riché's first acts was to restore the Constitution of 1816.

As president, Riché was considered a failure by his Boyerist backers. Originally intended to be a figurehead, Riché quickly began to take an active role. He soon proposed reforms similar to those espoused by former President Pierrot. Probably as a result of these proposals he died on February 27, 1847, possibly from being poisoned, although this has never been established. Riché's presidency, considered ineffective by historians, opened the way for considerable changes in the political landscape of Haiti during the succeeding administrations. As a result, his presidency can be considered a turning point in the history of Haitian politics.

After Riché's death in 1847, he was replaced by Faustin-Élie Soulouque, who was anticipated to be similar to Riché. Soulouque later appointed himself Emperor Faustin I.

Jean-Claude Duvalier

Jean-Claude Duvalier (French pronunciation: ​[ʒɑ̃klod dyvalje]), nicknamed "Baby Doc" (Haitian Creole: Bebe Dòk) (3 July 1951 – 4 October 2014), was the President of Haiti from 1971 until he was overthrown by a popular uprising in 1986. He succeeded his father François "Papa Doc" Duvalier as the ruler of Haiti after his death in 1971. After assuming power, he introduced cosmetic changes to his father's regime and delegated much authority to his advisors. Thousands of Haitians were killed or tortured, and hundreds of thousands fled the country during his presidency. He maintained a notoriously lavish lifestyle (including a state-sponsored US$ 2 million wedding in 1980) while poverty among his people remained the most widespread of any country in the Western Hemisphere.Relations with the United States improved after Duvalier's ascension to the presidency, and later deteriorated under the Carter administration, only to again improve under Ronald Reagan due to the strong anti-communist stance of the Duvaliers. Rebellion against the Duvalier regime broke out in 1985 and Baby Doc fled to France in 1986 on a U.S. Air Force flight.

Duvalier unexpectedly returned to Haiti on 16 January 2011, after two decades in self-imposed exile in France. The following day, he was arrested by Haitian police, facing possible charges for embezzlement. On 18 January, Duvalier was charged with corruption. On 28 February 2013, Duvalier pleaded not guilty to charges of corruption and human rights abuse. He died of a heart attack on 4 October 2014, at the age of 63.

Jean-Louis Pierrot

Jean-Louis Michel Pierrot (1761 – February 18, 1857) was a career officer general in the Haitian Army who also served as President of Haiti from April 16, 1845 to March 1, 1846.During the Haitian Revolution Pierrot led a black battalion at the Battle of Vertieres in 1803. During the period of the Haitian Kingdom, Henri Christophe (Henry I) promoted Pierrot to the rank of Lieutenant General in the Army and granted him the hereditary title of Prince.Pierrot was elected president of Haiti by the Council of State on April 16, 1845, the day after the death of Philippe Guerrier. As President of Haiti, he was intended to be a figurehead for the mulatto ruling class. Pierrot's most pressing duty as the new president was to check the incursions of the Dominicans, who were harassing the Haitian troops along the borders. Dominican boats were also making depredations on Haiti's coasts. President Pierrot decided to open a campaign against the Dominicans, whom he considered merely as insurgents. Haitians, however, were not inclined to go to war with their neighbors, and were unwilling to support the President's views.Furthermore, Pierrot had displeased the army by conferring military rank on the leaders of the peasants of the Sud department and on many of their followers. In addition, the inhabitants of the towns of this department felt uneasy regarding the tendencies of Pierrot, who had appointed Jean-Jacques Acaau, the former terrorist of Cayes, as Commandant of the Anse-à-Veau Arrondissement. Fearing a peasant revolt, the townsmen decided to divest Pierrot of his office. In consequence, on March 1, 1846, General Jean-Baptiste Riché was proclaimed President of the Republic at Port-au-Prince. On that same day, Pierrot resigned and retired to his plantation called Camp-Louise, where he led a quiet and peaceful life.Pierrot died on February 18, 1857.Pierrot's daughter, Marie Louise Amélia Célestine (Princess Pierrot), in 1845 married Lieutenant-General Pierre Nord Alexis, a provincial governor under Emperor Faustin I, who later became Haitian Minister for War from 1867 to 1869 and president of Haiti from 1902 to 1908.

Jean-Nicolas Nissage Saget

Jean-Nicolas Nissage Saget (1810–1880) succeeded Sylvain Salnave as President of Haiti in 1869. Coming into power by coup, Saget was the first Haitian president to serve out his term of office (1869–1874) and retire voluntarily, although his retirement led to a renewal of the political turmoil between blacks and the country's mulatto elites. He died in 1880.

Jean Marie Chérestal

Jean Marie Chérestal (born 18 June 1947) was prime minister of Haïti from 2 March 2001 to 21 January 2002. He is the leader of the political party known as Pont ("bridge").

Jocelerme Privert

Jocelerme Privert (French pronunciation: ​[ʒɔslɛʁm pʁivɛʁ]; born 1 February 1953) is a Haitian accountant, bureaucrat, politician and a former provisional President of Haiti.

Joseph Nemours Pierre-Louis

Joseph Nemours Pierre-Louis (1900–1966) served as acting President of Haiti from 1956 to 1957.

Pierre-Louis, who studied physics and law, was first a professor of physics at the Lycée Philippe Guerrier. After working as a law professor from 1928 to 1937, he became a judge of the Municipal Court of Cap-Haïtien. He became president of the Supreme Court after the revolution of January 1946, a post he held until his election to the Senate.

After the departure of Paul Magloire in December 1956, Pierre-Louis announced in a radio address on 12 December 1956 that under the Constitution he became interim president of Haiti. He also announced elections for April 1957 and ordered the release of former presidential candidate and wealthy plantation owner Louis Déjoie and other political prisoners. In early January 1957, he seized the assets of former President Paul Magloire. Pierre-Louis was Acting President from 12 December 1956 to 3 February 1957. He was replaced by Franck Sylvain, who became acting president on 7 February 1957.

Jovenel Moïse

Jovenel Moïse (born 26 June 1968) is a Haitian politician serving as the 42nd President of Haiti since February 2017. Previously, final official results had shown him as the winner of the November 2016 election.

Michel Martelly

Michel Joseph Martelly (French pronunciation: ​[miʃɛl ʒɔzɛf maʁteli]; born 12 February 1961) is a Haitian singer and former politician who went on to serve as the President of Haiti from May 2011 until February 2016. He is from Côte-de-fer, a commune located in the South East region of Haiti. Martelly was one of Haiti's best-known musicians for over a decade, going by the stage name Sweet Micky. For business and musical reasons, Martelly has moved a number of times between the United States and Haiti. When travelling to the United States, Martelly mostly stays in Florida. After his presidency, Martelly returned to his former band (Sweet Micky) and sung a carnival meringue entitled Bal Bannan nan (Give her the banana), a message as a response to Liliane Pierre Paul, a famous Haitian female journalist in Port-au-prince.As a singer and keyboardist, "Sweet Micky" is known for his Kompa music, a style of Haitian dance music sung predominantly in the Haitian Creole language, but he blended this with other styles. Martelly popularized a "new generation" of compas with smaller bands relying on synthesizers and electronic instruments. From 1989 to 2008, Martelly recorded over a dozen studio albums and a number of live CDs. As a musician and club owner in Haiti in the late 1980s and early 1990s, Martelly became associated with the neo-Duvalierist Haitian military and police, including figures such as police chief Michel François, and he agreed with the 1991 Haitian coup d'état against Jean-Bertrand Aristide. In 1995, after Aristide had been restored to office, Martelly's name appeared on a hit list of coup supporters, and he stayed away from Haiti for almost a year. During this time, he released a song, "Prezidan" (on the album Pa Manyen), "an exuberant ditty that called for a president who played compas". However, he did not run for political office until 2010, when he became a candidate for President of Haiti. Today he is named as the main thief of the petro caribe funds, $3,8 billions that were stolen during his time ax president. He is also known for his foul language towards women.

After the catastrophic earthquake, Martelly won the Haitian general election, 2010–11 for his party Repons Peyizan (Farmers' Response Party), after a run-off against candidate Mirlande Manigat. Martelly had come in third in the first round of the election, until the Organization of American States forced Jude Célestin to withdraw due to alleged fraud. Martelly assumed his position of the President of Haiti on 14 May 2011 after René Préval retired to his home in Marmelade. His election campaign included a promise to reinstate the nation's military, which had been abolished in the 1990s by Jean-Bertrand Aristide.

Pierre Théoma Boisrond-Canal

Pierre Théoma Boisrond-Canal (12 June 1832 – 6 March 1905) was a Haitian politician who served as the President of Haiti three times.

Boisrond-Canal was born 12 June 1832 in the town of Les Cayes, Haiti. He began a military career. He was an officer from 1858 to 1867 during the administration of Fabre Geffrard. He then retired from military service and became a farmer.

His political career began in 1870, when he was elected a senator in Port-au-Prince. He was then re-elected until 1875. After the riots of May 1875, after which he was holed up in the home of U.S. ambassador Ebenezer Bassett for five months from May to October, he went into exile in Kingston, Jamaica, for a few weeks. On his return, he was appointed the commander of the army in the Ouest department by President Michel Domingue. On 23 April 1876, he replaced Michel Domingue as the first president of the provisional government, before becoming President of Haiti non-provisionally on 17 July 1876. The 1867 Constitution gave him a mandate of four years. During Boisrond-Canal's administration, tensions in domestic politics and foreign affairs grew, particularly because of the differences between liberal and nationalist parties in Parliament. Following a stormy debate in the House of Representatives on 30 June 1879, there were riots in Port-au-Prince in which the Liberal leader Jean-Pierre Boyer-Bazelais played a significant role. Although the government managed to restore law and order, Boisrond-Canal resigned as president on 17 July 1879, unable to mediate between the Liberal and National parties. The successor to the presidency was Lysius Salomon. After his resignation, Boisrond-Canal left again in exile in Jamaica.

After Boisrond-Canal's return from exile and Salomon's resignation on 10 August 1888, Boisrond-Canal was again named Acting President of Haiti. He was succeeded as president by François Denys Légitime on 16 October 1888. On 26 May 1902, Boisrond-Canal was appointed successor to Tirésias Simon Sam as new interim president of Haiti. On 17 December 1902 Pierre Nord Alexis became his successor.

Boisrond-Canal was one of the most influential politicians of his time in Haiti and significantly influenced Haitian politics even when not serving as president. He died in Port-au-Prince on 6 March 1905.

Boisrond-Canal's younger brother, Louis-Auguste Boisrond-Canal, was an active political figure in 1908 as a member of the Commission for public order and interim president of Haiti.

Prime Minister of Haiti

The Prime Minister of Haiti (French: Premier ministre d'Haïti, Haitian Creole: Premye Minis Ayiti) is the head of government of Haiti. The office was created under the 1987 Constitution; previously, all executive power was held by the President or head of state, who appointed and chaired the Council of Ministers.

Sténio Vincent

Sténio Joseph Vincent (February 22, 1874 – September 3, 1959) was President of Haiti from November 18, 1930 to May 15, 1941.

Sylvain Salnave

Sylvain Salnave (February 6, 1827 – January 15, 1870) was a Haitian general who served as the President of Haïti from 1867 to 1869. He was elected president after he led the overthrow of President Fabre Geffrard. During his term there were constant civil wars between the various factions. Eventually, he was overthrown in a coup by his eventual successor Nissage Saget, and Salnave was tried for treason and executed.

Tirésias Simon Sam

Paul Tirésias Augustin Simon Sam (May 15, 1835 – May 11, 1916) was the President of Haiti from 31 March 1896 to 12 May 1902. He resigned the presidency just before completing his six-year term.

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