Black History Highlight: Haiti’s 1st Female President Ertha Pascal-Trouillot

Pascal-Trouillot was chief justice when she temporarily became Haïti’s first female president on March 13, 1990 following a revolt that overthrew the government run by Prosper Avril. General Herard Abraham remained in charge for three days and then transferred the power to Ertha Trouillot. As provisional head, her job was to coordinate the transition to democracy with the Council of State, which had veto power over her. She oversaw the first truly free elections in Haiti on December 16, 1990 (Haitian general election, 1990–1991), which Jean-Bertrand Aristide won with 67% of the vote.

On 6 January 1991, a coup attempt seeking to pre-empt an Aristide presidency took place, when Roger Lafontant, a Tonton Macoute leader under Duvalier, seized the provisional President Ertha Pascal-Trouillot and declared himself president. After large numbers of Aristide supporters filled the streets in protest and Lafontant attempted to declare martial law, the army crushed the incipient coup.Aristide had Pascal-Trouillot arrested under charges of complicity in the January attempted coup d’état. She was released the next day after US intervention in Port-au-Prince. The US demanded a lift on the ban on departure. Pascal-Trouillot left the country shortly after but returned more than a year later. Since then, she lives away from the public eye and is currently working on drafting volumes of the Biographical Encyclopedia of Haïti. – via Wikipedia

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