Haiti’s new President sworn in after yearlong political stalemate
PORT AU PRINCE - It took almost a year, but Haiti's new President has finally been sworn in.
Jovenel Moise inherits a government still reeling from an electoral crisis that had left the presidency vacant since early 2016 -- but during Tuesday's inauguration he vowed to uplift a nation devastated by earthquakes, poverty and a history of elections marred by unrest.
"Together, we are going to carry out the national project to develop the country. As you all know, agriculture is my priority. You all know this, I have just said it. Agriculture needs to be modernized so as to give work to youth, women and men from the country," Moise said at the presidential palace in the capital of Port-au-Prince, Reuters reported.
The banana exporter, who has never held political office, was declared the winner in January of an election initially held in 2015. Yet allegations of voter fraud led to a presidential runoff that was postponed twice over what authorities called threats and "security concerns."
Moise succeeds Michel Martelly, who left office in February 2016 at the end of his constitutional mandate. Without an elected successor, lawmakers chose Jocelerme Privert, the former head of Parliament, as the interim President -- and a transitional government led the country up until Moise's first day in office.