René Préval, who was president of Haiti for two terms, has died. He was 74 years old.
‘It is with sadness that I have just heard of former President René Préval’s death’, wrote incumbent, Jovenel Moïse, on Twitter.
Local media are prevalently citing the ex-president’s sister, who gave information that Préval died of a cardiac arrest.
Préval had a reputation as an honest and efficient administrator. He promoted the poor’s case, and presided over Haiti from 1996 to 2001, and again from 2006 to 2011.
The man who would go on to be president twice, was born in the capital Port-au-Prince in 1943. He studied agronomy in Belgium, and lived in New York for five years in the 1970s.
Préval was prime minister after Jean-Bertrand Aristide, who was ousted in a coup in 1991. He joined Aristide in exile in the United States, where he remained until 1994.
Two years later he became the second democratically elected leader in Haiti, and sat as president for five years before he handed over office to Aristide. Five years later, Préval became once again, president, two years after Aristide resigned and fled the country as rebels approached the capital.
Préval’s popularity took a beating during his second term, after the earthquake that hit the Caribbean country in 2010. Over 220,000 people died, and Préval was criticised for a lack of leadership in the wake of the disaster.
Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today