The President of Haiti is the head of state while the Prime Minister is the head of government. The constitution specifies the roles and powers of both leaders.
The National Palace in the capital city Port-au-Prince served as the official presidential residence until it was severely damaged during an earthquake in 2010. Once an elected candidate was sworn in, he was expected to occupy the residence until the completion of his term. In 2012 the government razed the remains, and in 2017 the president announced plans to build a new palace.
History Of The National Palace
The site of the National Palace has hosted four different structures since the mid-18th century. The Government Palace was the first building on the site. It served as the official residence of the governor-general of Saint-Domingue, and the first president of Haiti. In the 1850s it became the Imperial Palace after Emperor Faustin I rose to power. It was destroyed in 1869 by rebels who successfully toppled the government. In 1881 the palace was rebuilt, but 31 years later it was destroyed by an explosion that also killed the president. In 1912 architect Georges Baussan began designing a new mansion, and in May 1914 the construction of the $350,000 building began. In 1915 a violent mob assassinated the president and set ablaze the building that was still under construction. As a result, the United States occupied Haiti, and naval engineers completed the construction of the presidential palace. The building was designed to suit the French Renaissance architecture and resembled buildings in France and French Colonial territories.
The National Palace was continuously occupied from 1920 until 2010 when it was severely damaged by an earthquake that also razed many other buildings in the country. Several employees lost their lives when the building crumbled, but the president and his family were at their private residence. The French government offered to rebuild the palace, but the Haitian government decided to demolish the building and construct a new Palace.
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