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.*
Permanent Mission of Haiti to the OAS.
29 April 2008