Haiti's President: Can He Lead?

The Daily Beast's Lois Romano wonders whether the former hip-hop star has what it takes. 

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Michel Martelly (Getty Images)

Haiti's new president, Michel Martelly, recently declared at a Clinton Global Initiative event that the country is "open for business!" For many, the former hip-hop singer, also known as "Sweet Micky," represents a refreshing change from the corrupt and power-hungry leaders of the 19th and 20th centuries. But the Daily Beast's Lois Roman says his behavior has echoes of Haiti's troubled past, and wonders whether he has what it takes to deliver for the country:

But while boosters may be encouraged by Martelly’s instincts, few are blinded by his weaknesses. He was not able to form a government because of his clumsy political skills. His first two choices for prime minister were summarily rebuffed by Parliament; one was deemed unqualified, and the other was opposed by human-rights activists. His third choice, Garry Conille -- a former aide to Clinton -- appears to be on track. This drama has significantly delayed reconstruction efforts.

Nineteen months after the earthquake, there is still no credible infrastructure in the country, and U.S. officials complain that Martelly has been slow to move on some fundamental problems. I visited Haiti three weeks after the earthquake, and again a year later. The only visible improvement was that much of the rubble had been removed. In truth, it's hard to imagine anyone bringing business to Haiti today unless some major problems are tackled. The roads were still horrific, and 750,000 people were still displaced and living in tents ... 

Read more at the Daily Beast.

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