The death of former Haitian President René Préval comes as a shock to many. The political figure served two presidential terms, from 1996-2001 and 2006-2011, and he was the incumbent during the devastating 2010 earthquake. Opinions may vary, but President Préval certainly set precedent for the nation; in 2011, he was the first Haitian president to peacefully transition power to the opposition party, and he is the only president to have served two full terms in office. His death comes at a time when many questions are still left unanswered regarding the future of Haitian politics.
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Rene Préval, two-time president of Haiti, dead at 74
Jacqueline Charles, Miami Herald
March 3, 2017
The evening before he died, two-time Haitian President René Garcia Préval, who led Haiti during food riots and its worst natural disaster, called his wife, Elisabeth, who was visiting Coral Gables. He had just returned from paying his respects after the passing of a friend, and had discovered a new restaurant, he told her.
Préval, who had come to prefer the quiet of home to public restaurants in his post-presidency years, was excited about his new Italian find, and he couldn’t wait to take his wife there, Elisabeth Delatour Préval said to the Miami Herald.
On Friday, she remembered the conversation: “He asked, when am I coming home?”
Préval died Friday at their home in Laboule, a neighborhood in the hills of Port-au-Prince. He was 74. The cause of death has not been confirmed but friends close to him, many of whom gathered at the hospital where his body lay on a metal gurney, say it was likely the result of a heart attack.
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