Haiti Gets a New President Today … for Another 4 Months

Lawmakers chose Jocelerme Privert as president of the island nation, to serve for only 120 days.

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HECTOR RETAMAL/AFP/Getty Images

Haitian lawmakers on Sunday chose the country’s Senate chief as president of an interim government, reports the Washington Post.

In the early hours of Sunday, Jocelerme Privert was elected as provisional president and sworn in by Haiti’s legislature. Privert was one of three candidates vying to lead an interim government that’s only supposed to last 120 days.

After the Feb. 7 departure of former President Michel Martelly, who was barred by Haiti’s constitution from seeking a consecutive term as president, there was no leader to take his place.

A runoff presidential election was delayed for a second time last month amid violent opposition protests and deep public suspicions about vote rigging in favor of Martelly’s chosen successor, Edgard Leblanc.

The Post reports that Privert was imprisoned for over two years during Haiti’s last provisional government in 2004, alleging that he orchestrated a massacre of former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide’s opponents. But Privert has always maintained that he was a political prisoner and had no involvement in any killings.

A new round of elections will take place April 24, with the elected winner to be installed on May 14, according to CNN.

Read more at the Washington Post.

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