The President of the Republic of Haiti is the head of state of Haiti. Executive power in Haiti is divided between the president and the government headed by the Prime Minister of Haiti. The current President is Michel Martelly, who took office on May 14, 2011.
Term and election
The qualifications for the presidency are specified by Chapter III Section A (Articles 134 and 135) of the 1987 Constitution of Haiti.
The President is elected to a five-year term by popular vote. The President is not to be elected twice in a row: he may serve a second term only after an interval of five years, and must not run for a third term.[A134]
To be elected President, a candidate must:[A135]
- be a native-born Haitian and never renounced that nationality;
- have reached the age of 35 by election day;
- enjoy civil and political rights and not have been sentenced to death, or penal servitude or the loss of civil rights for a crime of ordinary law;
- be the owner of a real property and have one's habitual residence in the country;
- reside in the country at least 5 years before election day;
- have been discharged of responsibilities if previously handling public funds.
Elections are held on the last Sunday in November in the fifth year of the current president's term. If no candidate receives a majority then a runoff election is held between those two candidates, who have not withdrawn before the runoff, who have the highest number of votes.[A134]
Each presidential term in office begins and ends on the first February 7 after presidential elections are held.
Duties and powers
The qualifications for the presidency are specified by Articles 136 to 147, part of Chapter III Section B of the 1987 Constitution of Haiti. The President has no powers except those accorded to him in the Constitution.[A150]
The Constitution mandates that the President see to: the respect for and enforcement of the Constitution and the stability of the institutions; regular operations of the public authorities; the continuity of the State;[A136] and the nation's independence and the integrity of its territory.[A138]
When there is a majority in Parliament, the President must choose a Prime Minister from the majority party; otherwise, he chooses one after consultation with the two houses of Parliament. In either case, the choice must then be ratified by Parliament. The President terminates the duties of the Prime Minister when the Government resigns.[A137]
The President declares war and negotiates and signs peace treaties with the approval of the National Assembly,[A140] and signs all international treaties, conventions and agreements, submitting them to the National Assembly for ratification.[A139] The President accreditsambassadors and special envoys to foreign powers; receives letters of accreditation from ambassadors of foreign powers; and issueexequaturs to recognize consuls.