René Préval: Haiti to observe 6 days of mouring following the death of former president

Former Haitian President René Préval. PHOTO/AP

Haiti on Monday announced 6 days of official mourning for the late former president René Préval, who died Friday aged 74, at his home of cardiac arrest.

Préval, a champion of the poor who served 2 terms as the country’s leader, will be honored with a state funeral, a source close to his family has said.
The viewing will be held on Friday at a museum on the Champ de Mars, the capital Port-au-Prince’s main park. His funeral is set for Saturday March, 11.

With a reputation as an honest and efficient administrator, Préval served as president of Haiti, in 1996-2001 and 2006-2011.

A moderate leftist, Préval first served as prime minister to ex-president Jean-Bertrand Aristide from February 1991 until the government was removed in September that year.
He was elected by a landslide in 1995 as the chosen successor of Jean-Bertrand Aristide, and turned power back over to Aristide when he left office 5 years later after a term marked by political infighting.

His second term, which started in 2006, was marred by the disastrous earthquake of January 12, 2010, which the government said killed more than 310,000 people and displaced more than 1 million. Many Haitians accused him of a fumbling response to the tragedy.

On May 14, 2011, Préval handed over power to Martelly, marking the first transfer of power from a Haitian president to a member of the opposition.
He then left politics and lived quietly at his estate in the mountains above Port-au-Prince.

His survivors include his third wife, Elisabeth Delatour, and two adult daughters.

Source: Associated Press