Former Haitian President Leslie Manigat dies

Leslie Manigat, president of Haiti for six months in 1988, has died.
By JC Finley Follow @JC_Finley Contact the Author   |   June 30, 2014 at 6:34 PM

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, June 30 (UPI) -- Leslie Manigat, former president of Haiti, passed away at the age of 83 after a long illness.

Manigat served briefly as president, elected in 1988 and removed six months later by military coup.

The former academic ran in Haiti's first presidential election following a 1986 revolt that overthrew President Jean-Claude Duvalier. His election was considered illegitimate.

Mike Finley, former deputy chief of staff for the U.S. House of Representatives' Foreign Affairs Committee and former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for the Caribbean, knew Manigat during his brief presidency. Finley described him as "a well intentioned man whose ambition often got in the way of his good judgement."

In 2006, Manigat ran again for president but came in second. Four years later, his wife, Mirlande Manigat, ran for president but lost to current President Michel Martelly.

Martelly said Manigat's death was "sad news" and Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe said his passing left "a huge void" in Haiti.

Mike Finley is the father of UPI World News reporter JC Finley.

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