Marc Louis Bazin
Former President of Haiti
Marc Louis Bazin was President of Haiti from 14 March 2002 to 20 September 2002
Early life and education
Marc Louis Bazin was born on 6 March 1932 in the small western port of Saint-Marc. Bazin's father, Louis, was a national senator for the Artibonite, Haiti's largest départment under the French colonial system overthrown by black slaves in 1804. He therefore had something of a privileged start in life despite not belonging to the mulatto elite.
It was from his father's love of Voltaire and Shakespeare that Bazin became fluent in English and eloquent in French, but he was less at ease with the language of the Haitian masses – Creole – based on the phonetic pronunciation of French by African slaves. This would cost him votes during his various election campaigns since the vast majority of Haitians speak only Creole. It was in French that he studied first law, then economics and sociology – in the capital, Port-au-Prince, and later in Brussels at the Solvay Institute of Sociology.
After returning to Haiti in the 1960s during the dictatorship of Baby Doc's father, Francois "Papa Doc" Duvalier, Bazin spent three years as a finance attaché in Morocco. From 1972-76, he worked for the World Bank's West Africa department and from 1976-80 he was a Haitian representative in the World Health Organisation (WHO), where he was responsible mainly for Upper Volta.
Marc Louis Bazin was a World Bank official, former United Nations functionary and Haïtian Minister of Finance and Economy under the dictatorship of Jean-Claude Duvalier. He was prime minister of Haïti appointed on 4 June 1992 by the military government that had seized power on 30 September 1991.
He was considered to be the favorite Haitian presidential candidate of the George H. W. Bush administration and the bourgeois population of Haïti. When the country could no longer last in foreign relations as a military dictatorship and had to open the government up to free elections in 1990, Bazin was seen as a front runner if the elections were to happen before the Left in Haïti had time to reorganize.
Ultimately, Bazin received 14% of the vote, Jean-Bertrand Aristide winning the Haitian general election, 1990–1991 with 67%. After nine months, Aristide was deposed by a military coup. In June 1992, the army appointed Bazin as acting prime minister. Washington's initial response was that he held the post illegally, but they soon warmed up to him and pressed Aristide to negotiate with the military and Bazin. With the change in administrations, the policy changed. He resigned on 8 June 1993.
Bazin was also a fervent political opponent of Aristide, and ran in the 2006 election for the presidency of Haïti, but was reported to have received only about 0.68% of the vote in the 35-candidate race.
Bzin died on 16 June 2010 in Pétionville, Haiti. He was 78.