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     The Republic of Haiti was born on January 1, 1804 after a 23 year struggle by the enslaved African population to overthrow the French colonialists who had ruled them. In so doing, Haiti - the name derives from the Taino language for "mountainous land" - known then as the "Pearl of the Antilles," became the second Republic in the western hemisphere after the United States, and the first in which the slavery of human beings was outlawed.

     Haiti's system of governance is a mixed one incorporating a Head of State (President) who is freely and popularly elected, with a Head of Government (Prime Minister) who is selected by the President in consultation with the Parliament or legislature. The Legislature itself is made up of 27 Senators (upper chamber) and 83 Deputies (lower chamber). A series of courts of law make up the Judicial branch of Haiti's government. Haiti's present Constitution has been in force since 1987.*

Source: Permanent Mission of Haiti to the OAS.


Updated: 29 April 2008