This Day in History: Marc Bazin

On this day in Caribbean history, June 8, 1993, Premier Marc L. Bazin resigned unexpectedly after losing a power struggle with the nation’s military rulers. A World Bank official, former United Nations functionary and Haitian Minister of Finance and Economy under the dictatorship of Jean-Claude Duvalier, was prime minister of Haiti appointed on June 4, 1992 by the military government that had seized power on September 30, 1991.

Bazin was considered to be the favorite Haitian presidential candidate of the George H. W. Bush administration and the upper class population of Haiti. 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.

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 president, resigning on June 8, 1993. With no successor named by Parliament or the army, and it was not clear whether the move would help efforts to restore ousted President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. The U.S. State Department, the U.N. envoy trying to restore democracy to Haiti, welcomed the news. Father Aristide said it may mean he could return from exile within days.

In his resignation statement, Mr. Bazin cited unspecified “pressures” against his Cabinet. Mr. Bazin’s fall began Friday when he fired four Cabinet ministers, two of whom were backed by the military. The ministers balked at the dismissals and returned to their offices Monday.

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