Joseph Francois Turnier, who says he is a TV and radio journalist and a film-maker on his website, plans to kick off his campaign this week by holding his first official fund-raising event in Queens, New York.
The Port-au-Prince native, who hopes to unseat Haitian President Rene Preval in the November 28, 2010 election, says if he wins, during his first week as president he plans to “create 5,500 new jobs….and these new jobs will be in the ten-geographic departments of the country.”
He said he “will give the wealthy, the businessmen and those citizens living outside of Haiti a tax break” so they could aid the government in creating more jobs.
Turnier, 47, says he also plans to give “the lower class citizens the ability to work for the government and or for the private sector based on their own knowledge, experience or profession.” He says jobs will be created for those “without work experience.”
Seven years ago, Turnier, who migrated to the U.S in 1988, opened a tire retail store in Port-au-Prince and spends several months a year on the Caribbean island tending to the store.
He said that living in United States “for a couple of years makes a big difference” between him and the other candidates, saying, “I feel it is important that I’ve been here to learn what you need to do to make a country beautiful. You always hear that Haiti is a poor country, but I think it is a rich country, but mismanaged.”
“We take food from outside of the country because agriculture has not been embraced by the government,” he continued. “Everything we buy outside the country we have in our country.”
Turnier, who has raised about $15,000 so far to get his name on the ballot, says, his goal is to have the Haitian people be 80 percent happy with their lives because no one can be “100 percent satisfied, but everybody needs to be happy.”
Turnier is married and has three children
On January 12, 2010, a 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck Haiti killing more than 150,000 people, most of whom were buried in mass graves.
The Presidential palace, Parliament and many other important structures were destroyed and countless were left homeless.