Jovenel Moise, known as “Banana Man” because he exports produce, won Haiti’s Nov. 20 presidential election with more than half of the vote, Haiti’s electoral council announced this week.
The 48-year-old entrepreneur, who was former President Michel Martelly’s handpicked successor, appeared to win among a field of 27 candidates. The vote, however, will not be certified until late December.
Moise won most of the votes during Haiti’s first attempted election in 2015. But he didn’t get a majority, so run-off votes were subsequently scheduled and postponed for various reasons, including accusations of fraud and the effects of Hurricane Matthew.
Martelly was constitutionally required to step down at the end of his term in February, and an interim president, Jocelerme Privert, took his place.
On Nov. 20, Moise won 55 percent of the vote. As president, he will face a divided government and a country that continues to rebuild from a 2010 earthquake and Hurricane Matthew earlier this year.
Moise said in an interview with the Associated Press that he also wants to improve the economic conditions of the rural poor. “It’s really important to change the lifestyle of these people,” he said.