News: Wyclef Jean Withdraws From Haiti Presidential Run, "I Disagree With The Ruling"

Saturday, Aug 21, 2010 2:06AM

Written by Cyrus Langhorne

The Fugees' leader Wyclef Jean has confirmed reports of being ineligible to run for the presidency in Haiti through an open letter to fans and supporters.

In the letter titled "Keep The Faith," Jean discusses his ineligibility.

"It is with a heavy heart that I tell you today that the board of elections in Haiti has disqualified me from my run for the presidency of the country. Though I disagree with the ruling, I respectfully accept the committee's final decision, and I urge my supporters to do the same. We must all honor the memories of those we've lost--whether in the earthquake, or at anytime--by responding peacefully and responsibly to this disappointment." (Huffington Post)

Clef also said Haiti could still count on his support and leadership.

"I want to assure my countrymen that I will continue to work for Haiti's renewal; though the board has determined that I am not a resident of Haiti, home is where the heart is--and my heart has and will always be in Haiti. This ruling just tells me that I can't officially seek the office of president. More importantly, there is no one who can tell me to stop my work in Haiti, and there is no one who could. I think of my daughter, Angelina, and it makes me want to redouble my efforts to help give all the children in Haiti better days." (Huffington Post)

Details on the rapper's ineligibility hit the Internet late Friday (August 20) night.

Haiti's electoral council ruled Friday that hip-hop artist Wyclef Jean cannot run in the nation's presidential election. Questions came up about whether the rapper met eligibility requirements, as a candidate must live in Haiti for five consecutive years before the election. Jean's supporters said they suspected Haiti's political elite were trying to derail his bid. The council accepted 19 candidates and rejected 15. The musician was born in Haiti, raised in Brooklyn and lived in his home country on and off in recent years. Jean said he cannot meet the residency requirement, in part because he has been a roving ambassador for the country since 2007. (New York 1)

Prior to the ruling, Clef said he was still optimistic about a presidential run on Thursday.

"I wanted to clarify a rumor on Reuters that there's a list of candidates that came out and that (my) name isn't on it," Jean told CNN's Larry King on Thursday. "That's not true. The list is supposed to come out tomorrow ... It's looking good for us." (CNN)

Check out footage of Wyclef Jean addressing Haiti's earthquake earlier this year below:

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