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Yearbook 1996

Haiti. In February, René Préval took office in the first peaceful takeover of power since independence in 1804. Préval succeeded Jean-Bertrand Aristide, who was re-elected in 1994 with the help of the United States. Preval, which belongs to the Aristide-based Plateforme Politique Lavalas (PPL), received 88% of the votes. The turnout was 27%.

1996 Haiti

The president took office when the situation was tense in the capital Port-au-Prince prior to the withdrawal of the UN force of 6,000 men. However, the UN extended its mandate (twice during the year), and 1,800 soldiers and 300 policemen remained until the end of the year. The 2,500 American soldiers left the country in the spring.

According to, new Prime Minister Rony Smarth, PPL, formed government with 11 new ministers. PPL dominates the country's political life and received 80% of the vote in the 1995 parliamentary elections.

The unrest continued during the year and the Opposition Movement for National Development (Mobilization pour le Développement National, MDN), linked to the former military junta, was suspected of being behind the violence and riots. In September, the United States sent 30 security agents to protect the president.

In the spring and summer, 60 children in Haiti died of liver failure caused by infected, domestically produced medicine. The country is the poorest in the Western Hemisphere. According to a study presented by the World Watcher magazine, a family in Haiti uses 80% of their food income. The corresponding figure for a family in the United States is 9%.

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