October 21 2015
There are 54 presidential candidates contesting in the first round and only two of them are expected to go into a Dec. 27 runoff to become the nation’s next leader.
- Jovenel Moise
The front-runner is Jovenel Moise, the 47-year-old candidate of current President Michel Martelly’s Parti Haitien Tet Kale (PHTK). He was born in the countryside of Haiti from a modest family of farmers, and studied Educational Sciences in the capital Port au Prince, succeeding as a businessman in the banana industry.
Recent polls suggest Moise has a commanding lead of 20.5 percent, however other firms put him in second place, he was introduced to politics by Martelly and is known as one of his closest men. He has promised to revive agriculture in Haiti and improve education.
He also aims to put Haiti on the financial map by improving tourism and exports. Another proposal he has is to improve security and strengthen justice to restore the rule of law. He advocates food sustainability with the implementation of 570 greenhouses through the country.
2. Jude Celestin
Second place in the presidential race is held by Jude Celestin from the opposition League for Progress and Haitian Emancipation (LAPEH), according to polls he has 12.8 percent of the vote, although some pollsters put him in first place over Moise, with 31.3 percent.
This is the second time that the 53-year-old engineer is running for president. He was the runner-up in the 2010 presidential elections and although he has been absent in politics for the past five years, he enjoys great popularity among Haitians.
Celestine is largely supported by former President Rene Preval and has claims that if elected, his government will give priority to job creation, rationalization of government expenditure and the fight against corruption.
It is necessary, he says, to find ways to harmonize relations between Haiti and the Dominican Republic, referring to the diplomatic tensions between the neighboring nations over the new Dominican immigration law, which threatens to deport hundreds of thousands of Haitians, including children born in the republic to undocumented parents.
3. Moise Jean-Charles
All polls place former senator and opposition leader Moise Jean-Charles in third place, with 8.7 percent. He represents the platform “Pitit Dessalines,” which refers to Jean-Jacques Dessalines, who was a leader of the Haitian Revolution and the first emperor of independent Haiti (1804–1806).
The 48-year-old politician has said in multiple campaign events that Dessalines started the “political revolution,” and that he will start the “economic revolution” in Haiti. If elected, he has pledged to create a new economy based on domestic production and massive investment in agriculture to fight the extreme poverty plaguing Haiti.
Source: Meet Haiti’s Presidential Candidates TeleSUR