After numerous delays, Haiti held elections on Feb. 7, 2006. The elections, backed by 9,000 United Nations troops, were seen as a crucial step in returning Haiti to some semblance of stability. Former prime minister and Aristide protegé René Préval, very popular among the poor, was seen as the favorite. But when the election count indicated that Préval's lead over the other candidate was dropping and that he would not win an outright majority, Préval contested the election and charged that “massive fraud and gross errors had stained the process.” On Feb. 14, the interim government halted the election count, and the following day, after the votes were retabulated, Préval was declared the winner.
In April 2008, Prime Minister Jacques-Édouard Alexis was removed from office by the Senate, which held him responsible for the poor economy. President René Preval designated Ericq Pierre as the new prime minister, but the lower house of Parliament rejected Pierre. In July, Parliament approved the nomination of Michèle Pierre-Louis for prime minister and she became the second woman prime minister of Haiti.
The Senate voted in November 2009 to oust Prime Minister Michele Pierre-Louis, who was considered by international donors as a competent leader who could efficiently and effectively use aid to improve the infrastructure of Haiti and boost the economy. The Senate, however, claimed that she had not done enough to lift Haiti out of its near constant state of misery. She was replaced by Jean-Max Bellerive.