Haiti's new president Rene Preval is an advocate of the poor, a former president, and a former ally of ex-president Jean-Bertrand Aristide.
Haitians once referred to Preval and Aristide as "the twins" because of their similarities and political alliance. Both were popular for their interest in helping Haiti's poor.
Preval served his first presidential term from 1996 to 2001, between Aristide's two terms in office. Critics said Preval was no more than a placeholder for his colleague. But the two men broke over the corruption scandal that brought down Aristide's presidency in 2004.
As Haiti's first elected president since Aristide's departure, Preval says he wants to improve social conditions and education for his homeland, which is known as the poorest nation in the Americas.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.