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Henri Namphy (November 2, 1932 – June 26, 2018)[1][2] was a Haitian general and political figure who served as President of Haiti's interim ruling body, the National Council of Government, from February 7, 1986 to February 7, 1988. He served again as President of Haiti from June 20, 1988[3] until his deposition on September 17, 1988 in the September 1988 Haitian coup d'état.[4]

Henri Namphy
35th President of Haiti
In office
June 20, 1988 – September 17, 1988
Preceded byLeslie Manigat
Succeeded byProsper Avril
President of Haiti
In office
February 7, 1986 – February 7, 1988
Preceded byJean-Claude Duvalier
Succeeded byLeslie Manigat
Commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces of Haiti
In office
November 4, 1987 – June 17, 1988
Leslie Manigat
Preceded byHimself (as Chief of the General Staff of the Army)
Succeeded byMorton Gousse (Interim)
Chief of the General Staff of the Army
In office
March 23, 1984 – November 4, 1987
PresidentJean-Claude Duvalier
Preceded byRoger Saint-Albin
Succeeded byHimself (as Commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces of Haiti)
Personal details
Born(1932-11-02)November 2, 1932
Cap-Haïtien, Haiti
DiedJune 26, 2018(2018-06-26) (aged 85)
Dominican Republic
Resting placeCristo Redentor cemetery, Santo Domingo
Spouse(s)Gisèle Célestin, Altagracia Marte
RelationsElisabeth Delatour Préval (niece)
ResidenceJarabacoa, Dominican Republic

Following the fall of the government headed by President-for-Life Jean-Claude Duvalier, who fled the country with his family in 1986, Lieutenant General Namphy became president of the interim governing council, made up of six civilian and military members, which promised elections and democratic reforms. His regime was given the moniker “duvalierism without Duvalier”.

Namphy, who enjoyed a reputation for being honest[3] and apolitical, had trouble in his early weeks in power; Haitians ceased their celebrations over the departure of Duvalier and started rioting and looting. In March 1986, as violence swept the capital, Port-au-Prince, the popular justice minister resigned from the ruling council and Namphy dismissed three other members who had close ties with the Duvalier regime. The new council had two other members apart from Namphy. The council had difficulty in exerting its authority because of frequent strikes and demonstrations.[2]

An election held in October for a constituent assembly to prepare a draft constitution reflected a lack of public interest in determining the country's political future. The first attempt at elections, in November 1987, ended when some three dozen voters were massacred. In January 1988 Leslie Manigat won an election that was widely considered fraudulent, and Namphy overthrew him on June 20 in the June 1988 Haitian coup d'état after Manigat had dismissed Namphy as army commander. Namphy remained in power until September 17, 1988, when he was deposed by a group of young officers organized by General Prosper Avril.

He died from lung cancer on June 26, 2018 in the Dominican Republic, after 30 years in exile. He told his family that he wanted to be buried in the Dominican Republic.[5] In his testament, he bequeathed his personal library to the Fundación Global Democracia y Desarrollo foundation.[6]

Namphy was tetralingual (he spoke Haitian Creole, French, Spanish and English), had married twice and had two daughters, one based in Martinique and the other in the Dominican Republic.[7][5]


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b
  3. ^ a b Treaster, Joseph B. (1988-06-21). "Man in the News: Henri Namphy; Bestower of Silence and Despair". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-08-20.
  4. ^ "Article Collections of Henri Namphy". Retrieved 2010-11-30.
  5. ^ a b "Sepultan a Namphy en RD" (in Spanish). Listín Diario. 2 July 2018. Retrieved 2 July 2018.
  6. ^ "Leonel Fernández parmi les héritiers de l'ancien président haïtien Henry Namphy" (in French). Radio Télévision Caraïbes. 2 July 2018. Retrieved 3 July 2018.
  7. ^ "Henri Namphy living in the Dominican Republic". Haitian Photos. Retrieved 3 July 2018.
Political offices
Preceded by
Leslie Manigat
President of Haiti
Succeeded by
Prosper Avril