Haiti’s New President

May 14, 2011 by staff 

Haiti's New PresidentHaiti’s New President, Michel Martelly Haiti on Saturday pledged to respect the Haitian people who were sworn in as president of the poor Caribbean country. Martelly, a former popular singer, was officially the office in an inauguration ceremony held in front of National Palace collapsed, a reminder of the earthquake that killed at least 250,000 people and devastated Haiti last year.

In his opening speech, the 50-year-old Martelly promised to “respect the rights of individuals, workers and the great country” as he takes over the daunting task of leading the country of about 9.7 million through a series of daunting challenges.

As a military band played festive music up, outgoing President of Haiti, Rene Preval, president handed over the official speaker of parliament, Rodilphe Joazile, who then gave Martelly.

Halfway through the ceremony, a power outage temporarily interrupted microphones; another example of the many challenges Martelly president will face when trying to rebuild a country that has said it “was never built, and where even basic services like Electricity is a luxury.

Parliamentarians and dignitaries attended the opening ceremony from the international community, including former U.S. president Bill Clinton, UN special envoy to Haiti, Edmond Mulet, and head of the United Nations Mission in Haiti, and presidents and senior diplomats from across the region.

Martelly, widely known as “Sweet Mickey”, defeated the former first lady Mirlande Manigat in a landslide victory in the presidential runoff in March, gaining 67.7 percent of total votes.

During his campaign, the new president pledged to build new homes, promote economic development, introduce universal education for children and enhance the capabilities of the armed forces.

Martelly has submitted a figure of hope to the Haitian people, and support in the elections was especially pronounced among young people, which represent the dream of a better future as the former singer has worked his way up the social ladder.

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