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As February 7 arrives, trepidation rules Haiti as leadership legitimacy is questioned

NEW YORK — For a second straight year, the Haitian polity and diaspora are ever watchful as February 7 approaches with the country’s top leader again facing challenges to his legitimacy and calls to step down. This year, leaders of a civil society coalition have taken a more active role, nominating their own roster for a transitional government. 

“February 7th is a very symbolic date for us, because that’s the birth of democracy with the expulsion of Duvalier,” said Francois Pierre-Louis, a Queens College political science professor. “It became symbolic in the sense that every president took the oath of office on February 7th.” 

Haiti’s judicial and political institutions have grown weaker since the July assassination of Moise. For many Haitians accustomed to seeing violence during Haiti’s moments of transition, the main concern is finding trustworthy leadership for their country going forward. 

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