Dumarsais Simeus: Is He Not Qualified Too?

Wilgeens Rosenberg - December 2 2009, 10:39 PM

Dumarsais Mécène Siméus (also Dumas Siméus), born in 1939, is a Haitian-born and U.S. naturalized businessman from Texas.

Simeus has returned to Haiti to be a candidate in the first presidential election since the ousting of Jean Bertrand Aristide.

Siméus was born in Pont-Sondé in Haiti's Artibonite Valley, the eldest son of illiterate peasant rice farmers.

He grew up working the land in Haïti to feed himself and his 11 siblings.

In 1961, his family sold some land so he could fly to the United States to pursue a college education at Florida A&M University.

Siméus transferred to Howard University in Washington, DC, where he earned a degree in electrical engineering.

In 1970, he became a US citizen.

In 1972, he earned an MBA from the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business.

After months of speculation, Simeus decided to contest the Haitian Presidency in August 2005[8].

Simeus' political platform includes making it easier for companies to invest in Haiti, promoting jobs, and rooting out corruption by making government accountable.

Simeus said, "I want to create a Haiti where people are proud to stay because there are opportunities." ..."I want a Haiti where there is access to capital for the average guy, for the poor guy who was born in a hut like I was born in."[9] During his campaign he ran into a few challenges.

His status as a dual national became a challenge.

Simeus said that he still has Haitian citizenship despite taking the US Oath of Allegiance, which renounced all other citizenship.

The Haïtian Electoral Board disagreed.

Eventually this matter was taken to the Haitian Supreme Court which recently ruled that Simeus could place his name on the ballot, but he still faces election council challenges to his candidacy and a threat of prosecution alleging false candidacy claims on election papers.

Article 135 states a presidential candidate must "be a native-born Haitian and never have renounced Haitian nationality" and have resided in the country for five consecutive years before the election.

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