Jovenel Moïse

Jovenel Moïse (French pronunciation: ​[ʒɔv(ə)nɛl mɔiz]; Haitian Creole pronunciation: [ʒovɛnɛl mɔiz]; 26 June 1968 – 7 July 2021) was a Haitian entrepreneur and politician, who served as the 43rd President of Haiti from 2017 until his assassination in 2021. He was sworn in as president in February 2017 after winning the November 2016 election.[3][4] In 2019, protests and unrest in Haiti became a crisis.[5][6] In the early morning of 7 July 2021, Moïse was assassinated, and his wife Martine was injured during an attack on their private residence in Pétion-Ville.[7][8][9] Claude Joseph took control of the country as acting president following his assassination.[10]

Jovenel Moïse
Kelly Craft poses a photo with Haitian President Moise (cropped).jpg
Moïse in 2019
43rd President of Haiti
In office
7 February 2017 – 7 July 2021
Prime Minister
Preceded byJocelerme Privert (interim)
Succeeded byClaude Joseph (acting)
Personal details
Born(1968-06-26)26 June 1968
Trou-du-Nord, Nord-Est, Haiti
Died7 July 2021(2021-07-07) (aged 53)
Pétion-Ville, Ouest, Haiti
Manner of deathAssassination (gunshot wounds)
Political partyTèt Kale[1]
(m. 1996)
Alma materQuisqueya University

Early life and educationEdit

Jovenel Moïse was born on June 26, 1968, in Trou du Nord, Nord-Est, Haiti. His family moved to Port-au-Prince in July 1974, where he continued his primary education at École Nationale Don Durélin. He continued his secondary education at Lycée Toussaint Louverture and then at the Centre Culturel du Collège Canado-Haïtien. He married his classmate Martine Marie Étienne Joseph in 1996. They left the capital that same year and settled in Port-de-Paix to develop rural areas.

Business careerEdit

Moïse started his first business, Jomar Auto Parts, with little money and it is still in operation today. The following year, he began working on an agricultural project involving organic banana production from a plantation covering more than 10 hectares (25 acres) in the Nord-Ouest department. Moïse collaborated with Culligan Water in 2001 to build a drinking water plant for the Nord-Ouest and Nord-Est departments.

In 2012, he founded Agritrans SA, introduced the agricultural project Nourribio to Trou du Nord, and helped create Haiti's first agricultural free trade zone, a 1,000-hectare (2,500-acre) banana plantation in Nord-Est.[11] This project was supposed to export bananas to Germany for the first time since 1954; however, only two containers were ever sent. This nonetheless led him to being nicknamed Nèg Bannann (Banana Man).[12] The government granted tax-free access to the land, 15 years' exemption from income tax and from customs duties on the purchase of capital equipment,[2] and a $6 million loan to a new company, Agritrans, owned by Moïse, the president of the local chamber of commerce. Anonymous investors contributed at least another $10 million. Agritrans promised to create about 3,000 jobs;[13] however, as of March 2015, it had employed only 600.[14]

Political careerEdit

Moïse with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in 2018
Moïse and other Caribbean leaders with U.S. President Donald Trump in Florida in 2019
US Ambassador to the UN Kelly Craft and President Moïse in 2019
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and President Moïse in 2020

In 2015, President Michel Martelly designated Moïse as the presidential candidate of the political party Martelly had founded, the center-right Haitian Tèt Kale Party (PHTK).[15] In his campaign, Moïse promoted bio-ecological agriculture as an economic engine for Haiti, whose population was over 50% rural.[16] He also expressed support for policies pursued by Martelly: universal education and health care, energy reform, rule of law, the creation of sustainable jobs, environmental protection, and the development of Haiti as a destination for ecotourism and agritourism.

Moïse received 32.8% of votes in the first round of the elections held on 15 October 2015, with 54 candidates competing, qualifying for a runoff with the second-place finisher, Jude Célestin.[17][18] However, an exit poll conducted by the Haiti Sentinel reflected Moïse receiving only 6% of the vote, and Célestin and many observers called the results fraudulent.[19][20] Thousands of people took to the streets in violent protests, forcing the postponement of the runoff election.[21] In their wake, the ballot was ultimately annulled in June 2016.[17][22] In February 2016, after incumbent President Michel Martelly stepped down at the end of his term, special elections were held by parliament, and Jocelerme Privert was then installed as interim President until new elections could be held.[23]

On 20 November 2016, a new election was held; a week later, election officials declared, based on preliminary results, that Moïse had won the election with 55.67% of the vote[22] and with an estimated voter turnout of 21%, beating out 26 other candidates — four of whom claimed victory, before the official results were announced.[24][25] Moïse secured the presidency without having to compete in a second-round election. In second, third, and fourth place were mechanical engineer Jude Celestin of LAPEH with 19.52%, leftist senator Jean-Charles Moïse of the Platfòm Pitit Dessalines (PPD) with 11.04 percent, and Maryse Narcisse of Fanmi Lavalas (FL) with 8.99 percent.[26] Jovenel Moïse was sworn in on 7 February 2017 for a five-year term.[27]

Moïse faced challenges to his mandate, from opposition leaders who believed that Moïse's five-year mandate should end from the date of the inconclusive 2015 elections — that is, on 7 February 2021, five years to the day since his predecessor in office stepped down, though Moïse, counting from the date of his swearing in, had claimed that his term would not end till 2022.[28]

In November 2019, Moïse met at the Haiti National Palace with U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Kelly Craft, about ways to implement a consensual resolution of Haiti's political crisis through inclusive dialogue.[29][30] Craft later met with several political leaders from other parties, listened to their different views, and urged an inclusive solution with Moïse.[30][31] She also urged the Haitian government to fight corruption, investigate and prosecute human rights abusers, and combat narcotics and human trafficking.[30][peacock prose]



President Moïse built the second-largest hydropower plant and agricultural water reservoir in Haiti after Peligue.[32] He built the "Barrage Marion" in Marion, Haiti, which has the ability to produce electricity and water the farmers land in the North of Haiti. He rebuilt another water reservoir "barrage la Tannerie" to make more water available for farmers to increase agricultural production in that area.[33] He built several water pumping stations using solar power for the same purpose.[34][35] President Moise was in the process of building a deviation of water from the Massacre river when he was assassinated.[36]

President Moïse did a lot of work in the Artibonite department, where he leveraged the ministry of public work to curate the water channel system to make it easier for the farmers to grow rice.[37]


President Moïse built numerous roads in towns like Jeremie, Port-de-Paix, roads that include Carrefour Joffre/Anse-à-Foleur, Carrefour Trois-Rivières to name a few. He rebuilt an upgraded airport in Jérémie. He built power plants to provide electricity to many small towns that never had any since independence, including in towns like Jérémie and Port-de-Paix.[38]

President Moïse built several asphalt plants in several provinces in Haiti, including in Gros Mornes,[39] Les Cayes,[40] Trou-du-Nord.[41] He repaved roads in Les Cayes and rebuilt the town after it had suffered significant damage from Hurricane Matthew.[citation needed]

Electoral historyEdit

Presidential elections were held in Haiti on 25 October 2015, alongside local elections and the second round of the legislative elections.[42]

2015 presidential electionEdit

2015 Haitian presidential election[43]
Party Candidate Votes %
Haitian Tèt Kale Party Jovenel Moïse 508,761 32.81
LAPEH Jude Célestin 392,782 25.27
Platfòm Pitit Desalin Jean-Charles Moïse 222,109 14.27
Fanmi Lavalas Maryse Narcisse 108,844 7.05
Mouvement Action Socialiste Eric Jean Baptiste 56,427 3.63
Other parties Other candidates 242,047 15.58
Against all Against all 22,161 1.42

As no candidate received more than 50% of the vote, a second round was mandated by law. However, this was repeatedly postponed, and eventually cancelled,[44] with an interim president appointed indirectly by the legislature in the February 2016 Haitian presidential election and fresh elections scheduled for 2016.[45]

November 2016 presidential electionEdit

November 2016 Haitian presidential election[46]
Party Candidate Votes %
Haitian Tèt Kale Party Jovenel Moïse 590,927 55.60
LAPEH Jude Célestin 207,988 19.57
Platfòm Pitit Desalin Jean-Charles Moïse 117,349 11.04
Fanmi Lavalas Maryse Narcisse 95,765 9.01
Renmen Ayiti Jean-Henry Céant 8,014 0.75
Other parties Other candidates 35,593 3.18
Against all Against all 7,203 0.68

With more than 50% of votes cast, Moïse was elected in the first round.[44]


On 7 July 2021, Moïse was assassinated when gunmen attacked his residence in Pèlerin 5, a district of Pétion-Ville around 1 a.m.[47][48][49][50] Martine Moïse, the first lady of Haiti, was airlifted to Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami to be treated for wounds she sustained during the attack and continues to recuperate at an undisclosed location in Florida.[51][52][53][54] A press release issued later that day from the office of acting Prime Minister Claude Joseph blamed the attack on "a group of unidentified individuals, some of whom spoke in Spanish."

In December 2021, The New York Times reported that Moïse’s assassination might be linked to Moïse’s efforts to curb narcotics trafficking and plans to publicly expose high-ranking Haitian officials involved in the Haitian drug trade.[55]

Ariel Henry, who had been selected as the Prime Minister by Moïse shortly before his death, was later accused by several officials of being connected to Jospeh Felix Badio, an alleged mastermind of the assassination, and being involved in the planning.[56][57] One of the alleged masterminds Rodolphe Jaar also stated that Henry was close to Badio and had protected him after the assassination.[58] Judge Garry Orélien, who was previously the top judicial official in Haiti overseeing the case, stated that Henry was friends with Badio and planned the assassination with him.[57]


Public opinion and scholarly assessment of Moïse’s tenure were mixed and divided.

Widely perceived as uncompromising and headstrong, Moïse was criticized for his vehement intolerance of dissent and political opposition, and for his attempts to consolidate and remain in power. He also received praise for his robust efforts to rein in corruption and his courage in being willing to stand up against oligarchs and the Haitian elite.[59]


Moïse was awarded the Order of Brilliant Jade with Grand Cordon by the president of Taiwan, Tsai Ing-wen, in May 2018.[60][61] Tsai commended the economic initiatives undertaken by Moïse's government.[62]

See alsoEdit


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Political offices
Preceded by President of Haiti
Succeeded by