PORT-AU-PRINCE – Rene Preval, the only president in Haiti's history to finish a five-year term, was sworn in Sunday to once again lead the impoverished nation in the country's latest bid at democracy after decades of armed uprisings, lawlessness and foreign intervention.
In a brief ceremony in Haiti's Parliament, Preval took the oath of office and the Senate leader placed on him the presidential sash. Afterward, Preval stood and waved as about 300 legislators and foreign diplomats, including Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Canadian Governor General Michaelle Jean, gave him a standing ovation.
Preval was later scheduled to attend Mass and to make a presidential speech.
Delegations from some 40 countries were expected to attend the inauguration for Preval, who replaces a U.S.-backed interim government appointed to lead this Caribbean nation after former president Jean-Bertrand Aristide fled into exile in 2004.
Preval, 63, ruled Haiti from 1996 to 2001. He will have to overcome big challenges, including a corrupt state bureaucracy, a wrecked economy, roiling insecurity and the plight of prisoners.
On Sunday, before the inauguration, prisoners rioted at Haiti's main prison. There was no immediate official word on casualties.