Préval, René Garcia
Préval, René Garcia(rənā` gärsēä` prāväl`) 1943–2017, Haitian political leader, president (1996–2001; 2006–11) of Haiti. Préval's family went into exile (1963) during the DuvalierDuvalier, François
, 1907–71, dictator of Haiti (1957–71). A physician, he became director-general of the national public health service in 1946 and subsequently served as minister of health and of labor.
..... Click the link for more information. years (his father had been a government minister), and he was trained as an agronomist at the State Agricultural College, Gembloux, Belgium. After subsequently residing in the United States, he returned to Haiti, and during the 1980s became a close friend of Jean-Bertrand AristideAristide, Jean-Bertrand
, 1953–, president of Haiti (1991, 1994–96, 2001–4). A radical Catholic priest who defended liberation theology, he worked among Haiti's poor and was part of a group of progressive priests who opposed the Duvalier dictatorship.
..... Click the link for more information. . In 1990 he was appointed (1990) prime minister by Aristide, but the government was overthrown in 1991. After Aristide was restored (1994) to the presidency, Préval ran (1996) for and won the office when Aristide could not succeed himself. Préval's first term was marked by economic reform, but after disagreements with the parliament he ruled (1999–2000) by decree. In 2006, he again ran for president, as the candidate of his own Lespwa [hope] party, and was the front-runner, but he faced a possible runoff amid apparent fraud. Supported by huge popular protests, he was declared winner in the 32-candidate field. Although his second term saw some economic development, his government was overwhelmed in the aftermath of the devastating Jan., 2010, earthquake and oversaw flawed elections in 2011.