Fast Facts: Major Presidential Candidates in Haiti's Election

Notable candidates running in Haiti's presidential election on Tuesday:

— Rene Preval, 63.

The front-runner, according to polls, Preval is a shy, soft-spoken former agronomist who led Haiti from 1996 to 2001, the only elected Haitian president to finish his five-year term.

A Belgian-educated activist, he was a close ally of Jean-Bertrand Aristide, who became Haiti's first democratically elected president in 1990.

Preval followed Aristide into exile when the army overthrew him in a September 1991 coup and returned after a U.S. invasion restored Aristide to power three years later.

Preval's election marked Haiti's first peaceful transition from one elected president to another since Haiti won independence in 1804.

Preval left office and went to live in his grandmother's house in a rural town where he devoted himself to local development projects.

Many Haitians believe he would allow Aristide to return from exile in South Africa. Preval has said he would not prevent his return, but would govern without the ousted president's interference

— Charles Henri Baker, 50.

An independent candidate, Baker comes from an elite business family, which runs factories in the assembly-for-export industry. His slogan is "Order, Discipline, Work."

He was one of the leaders of Group 184, a coalition of organizations that led street protests before Aristide was toppled in an armed rebellion in February 2004.

Baker, who was briefly jailed by Aristide, has the support of a part of the business elite and peasant leader Chavannes Jean-Baptiste. Many have questioned whether Baker, who is light-skinned, can gain widespread support in the largely black nation.

— Leslie Manigat, 75.

Manigat was president for five months in 1988 after winning elections rigged by the military. The army ousted him when he tried to shake up its high command.

An expert on international affairs, he has financial backing from members of the business elite. His party belongs to the Christian Democrat movement.

— Serge Gilles, 69.

A longtime activist, he founded the Haitian Socialist Party and was a senator from 1990 to 1994. He represents the Fusion party, an alliance of three Social Democratic parties. The French Socialist party has endorsed his candidacy.

— Guy Philippe, 37.

A youthful former police chief who fled Haiti in October 2000 after he and other top officers were accused of plotting a coup against Aristide. He led a group of ex-soldiers and paramilitary recruits who crossed the Dominican border in February 2004 and helped force Aristide from power in a bloody, three-week revolt.

Philippe once said former Chilean dictator Gen. Augusto Pinochet was his hero.

— Dany Toussaint, 48.

As a young army lieutenant, Toussaint was faithful to Jean-Claude Duvalier until the dictator's February 1986 ouster. He later was elected senator and allegedly helped arm street gangs loyal to Aristide.

Toussaint was a suspect in the April 2000 assassination of top Haitian journalist and opinion maker Jean Dominique. He refused a court summons to answer questions in the case and the Senate refused to lift his parliamentary immunity.