Jovenel Mose was a Haitian entrepreneur and politician who served as President of Haiti from 2017 until his assassination in 2021.
He was declared the winner of the November 2016 election in the final official results. Political discontent and calls for his resignation erupted into a crisis in 2019.
On July 7, 2021, around 1 a.m., he was killed at his home by unknown Spanish-speaking assailants.
Interim Prime Minister Claude Joseph replaced him. In the incident, Mose’s wife was also shot and injured. On June 26, 1968, Jovenel Mose was born in Trou du Nord, Haiti’s Nord-Est region.
His family relocated to Port-au-Prince in July 1974, when he completed his elementary education at École Nationale Don Durélin and began secondary education at Lycée Toussaint Louverture and later at Centre Culturel du Collège Canado-Hatien.
He married Martine Marie Etienne Joseph, a classmate, in 1996.
They left the capital the following year and settled in Port-de-Paix to develop rural regions.
Mose started his first business in Port-de-Paix, JOMAR Auto Parts, with minimal cash and it is still in existence today.
He began developing an organic banana-producing enterprise from a plantation spanning over 25 acres of land in the Nord-Ouest region the same year.
In 2001, Mose teamed up with Culligan to build a drinking water facility that would serve the departments of Nord-Ouest and Nord-Est.
He created AGRITRANS SA in 2012, introducing the agricultural project NOURRIBIO to Trou du Nord and assisting in the establishment of Haiti’s first agricultural free trade zone, a 2,500-acre banana plantation in Nord-Est.
For the first time since 1954, this initiative was meant to send bananas to Germany; unfortunately, only two containers were actually transported.
Despite this, he was given the moniker Nèg Bannann (Banana Man). Agritans had hoped to generate 3,000 opportunities for employment, but only 600 had been created by March 2015.
President Michel Martelly nominated Mose as the presidential candidate of the Haitian Tèt Kale Party, which he formed, in 2015. (PHTK).
Mose supported bio-ecological agriculture as an economic engine for Haiti, which has a rural population of over 50%.
He also backed Martelly’s initiatives on universal education and health care, energy reform, the rule of law, the creation of long-term jobs, environmental preservation, and the development of Haiti as an ecotourism and agritourism destination.
Mose earned 32.8 percent of the vote in the first round of the 2015 elections, which took place on October 15, 2015, qualifying him for a runoff with Jude Célestin, who came in second.
However, according to an exit poll performed by the Haiti Sentinel, Mose received just 6% of the vote, prompting many observers to dismiss the results as fraudulent.
Thousands of people went to the streets in a violent outpouring, causing the runoff election to be postponed.
On November 27, 2016, election authorities announced that Mose had won the first round of the 2016 election based on preliminary data, with an anticipated voter turnout of 21%.
On February 7, 2021, opposition leaders challenged Jovenel Mose’s mandate, claiming that his term should have ended on the date of the inconclusive 2015 elections.
Special elections were held in February 2016 to establish Jocelerme Privert as interim president until new elections could be held.
Jovenel Mose of PHTK took first place in the presidential election in November 2016 with 55.67 percent of the vote.
Mose won the president without having to face the second round of voting.
Jude Celestin of LAPEH, Jean-Charles Mose of the Platfom Pitit Dessalines (PPD), and Maryse Narcisse of Fanmi Lavalas (FL) finished second, third, and fourth, respectively, with 19.52 percent, 11.04 percent, and 8.99 percent.
Jovenel Moise was sworn in for a five-year term on February 7, 2017.
Unidentified shooters assaulted Mose’s home in Pèlerin 5, a neighbourhood of Pétion-Ville, on July 7, 2021, killing him.
Martine Mose, Haiti’s First Lady, is still recovering from wounds received during the incident.
The incident was blamed on “a group of unidentified persons, some of whom talked in Spanish,” according to a news release published later that day by interim Prime Minister Claude Joseph’s office.
In May 2018, President Tsai Ing-wen of Taiwan bestowed to Mose the Order of Brilliant Jade with Grand Cordon.
Tsai praised Mose’s government’s economic measures.
- Jovenel Moise: AP