March 7, 2005


U.S. citizen's goal: to be leader of Haiti: A Miami Lakes businessman who helped organize protests against ousted Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide plans to run for president of Haiti, despite his U.S. citizenship. (JACQUELINE CHARLES, 3/07/05, Miami Herald)

''The people of Haiti are ready for a change,'' said [Haitian-born Samir Mourra], 49, sitting in the living room of his gated Miami Lakes home. A day earlier he had arrived from Haiti, where he is leading a grass-roots effort to get himself and members of his newly formed political party Mobilization for the Progress of Haiti, MPH, elected.

The party was launched in Cap-Haitien on Nov. 16, and is among 91 registered political parties in Haiti. It plans to declare candidates for every available post in Haiti's October and November parliamentary and presidential elections. There are 30 openings for senate, 90 for congress, 133 for mayors and two vice mayor positions for every mayor, Mourra said.

Mourra owns a mortgage lending business but is best known in the Haitian community as the ex-brother-in-law of former Haitian dictator Jean-Claude ''Baby Doc'' Duvalier.

''The country has had 200 years of suffering,'' said Mourra, whose political platform calls for promoting foreign investments by implementing e-government and a national social security number system to end corruption and improve government accountability.

But before he can even test his platform, Mourra, a Haitian of Arab descent, will first have to get on the ballot.

Even though there has been no official call for candidates, Mourra's interest in becoming president is already raising eyebrows here and in Haiti, where Haitians are debating whether the world's first black republic is ready to elect a white Haitian of Arab descent as president.

How has that black Haitian leadership worked out?

Posted by Orrin Judd at March 7, 2005 6:23 AM

Do they really want someone from Baby Doc's coterie back in charge whatever his skin color? The best thing for Haiti is re-colonization.

Posted by: Bart at March 7, 2005 11:34 AM

This a list of all the Haitian Presidents and there relative Skin color

Don't ask me why, but they find that important.

Posted by: h-man at March 7, 2005 12:26 PM