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Leader or statesman: does this last term apply to Boisvert and Conille, as the Prime Minister would have us believe?

  • June 1, 2024
  • 9 Min
  • 11

A statesman sees beyond immediate emergencies and plans for future generations. To be recognized as a statesman, a leader must go beyond simple day-to-day management.

Tweet from the Prime Minister: »Upon his arrival, the appointed Prime Minister, Dr. @ConilleGarry, had a tête-à-tête with the interim Prime Minister, Mr. Boisvert. Other working meetings will follow between the two statesmen«.

The distinction between a leader and a statesman is an essential notion for understanding the political and administrative dynamics of a country. Especially if that country is Haiti, champion of institutionalized corruption in the Caribbean, according to the latest report from Transparency International. So, a leader – someone who becomes a leader by a tweet or by “ a badly trimmed short » – can he be a statesman? The answer lies in understanding the responsibilities and qualities that define both roles.

A ruler is often seen as a person in a position of power, usually through legal or political means, and with responsibility for managing the day-to-day affairs of a state. In contrast, a statesman is someone who transcends mere administrative functions to become a visionary, guided by ethical principles and a deep dedication to the long-term welfare and development of his country.

According to the American political scientist James MacGregor Burns, a leader is distinguished by his ability to achieve specific, often short-term, goals and to maintain power through technical and administrative skills. In contrast, a statesman embodies values ​​of transformational leadership, characterized by long-term vision, moral integrity and commitment to the best interests of the nation and its citizens.

The Attributes of a Manager or Leader A leader is distinguished by his ability to administer, make strategic decisions and maintain order in his area of ​​responsibility. He must demonstrate organizational competence and the ability to manage crises. However, these qualities are not enough to elevate a leader to the rank of statesman.

The Attributes of a Statesman To be recognized as a statesman, a leader must go beyond simple day-to-day management. It must embody values ​​of justice, long-term vision and selfless public service. According to Winston Churchill, “The statesman thinks of the next generations; the politician is thinking about the next election” (Churchill, 1945). This quote clearly illustrates the fundamental difference between the two roles. A statesman is also judged by his lasting impact on society and his ability to inspire and unify his people around common goals.

To be recognized as a statesman, a leader must demonstrate several essential qualities:

Long-term vision : A statesman sees beyond immediate emergencies and plans for future generations. Integrity and Ethics : He acts with unwavering probity, avoiding corruption and nepotism. Skill and Expertise : He has a deep understanding of national and international affairs. Dedication to the Common Good : It highlights the general interest rather than personal or group gains. Communication Efficace : He expresses himself clearly and inspires trust and respect through his speeches and actions. Can we make Patrick Boisvert a Statesman? Take the case of Patrick Boisvert in Haiti. As de facto Minister of Finance, then de facto Prime Minister Tèt Kale 3 bis, Mr. Boisvert was confronted with a permanent crisis situation marked by theft, corruption, assassination and nepotism. A statesman distinguishes himself in such circumstances by taking concrete steps to combat these scourges and by communicating a clear and inspiring vision to the nation. However, Boisvert has not delivered a speech to the Nation or presented an economic development policy since taking office illegally. His administration was marked by a lack of development projects and a stagnant economy, making it difficult to call him a statesman.

The example of Dr Garry Conille, ‘supported’ by the United States As for Dr. Gary Conille, the new de facto Prime Minister, it is premature to consider him a statesman. His short experience in 2011 with the Tèt Kale at the Prime Minister’s Office, the main squanderers of Petro Caribe funds, does not provide sufficient proof of his ability to embody the required qualities. In the absence of significant achievements and a clear and articulated vision for Haiti, it can only be judged on its future actions.

A statesman sees beyond immediate emergencies and plans for future generations. To be recognized as a statesman, a leader must go beyond simple day-to-day management. The country is gradually disintegrating and Haitian leaders are, with a few exceptions, “ country merchant ».

Let’s give Dr. Conille the opportunity to surprise us and demonstrate that the adage “birds of a feather flock together” does not always apply.



Burns, J.M. (1978). Leadership. New York: Harper & Row. Northouse, P.G. (2019). Leadership: Theory and Practice. Los Angeles: Sage Publications. «Political Crisis and Governance in Haiti,» Journal of Haitian Studies, Vol. 23, No. 2, 2021. «The Challenge of Leadership in Fragile States,» International Journal of Public Administration, Vol. 41, No. 3, 2018.