Wyclef Jean is continuing to fight for an opportunity to enter Haiti’s presidential race this November and has now reportedly accused electoral officials of violating the country’s constitution.
According to reports, Clef is calling out for his countrymen’s attention and support.
Wyclef Jean has lashed out at the provisional election council (CEP), claiming the body violated Haiti’s constitution when they disqualified him from the upcoming Presidential race. The AFP reports that the rapper recorded a message in Creole and distributed it to the Haitian media. “They violated the constitution to benefit their families and their friends who continue to live off the people’s money,” Jean charged in the message. “Are you going to continue to support people who do not respect the fundamental law of the country?” (All Hip Hop)
Details on the rapper’s ineligibility to run for the Haiti presidency hit the Internet late Friday (August 20) night.
Haiti’s electoral council ruled Friday that hip-hop artist WyclefJean 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)
Initially, Clef issued a letter saying he would gracefully bow out of the running following the decision.
“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)
However, roughly 24 hours later, Clef changed his mind and decided to bring in a legal defense to fight for his bid.
“After careful consideration and much soul-searching, I have made the decision to contest Haiti’s board of elections’ pronouncement stating that I am ineligible to run for the presidency of the country,” Jean said in a statement. “I will be seeking a solution through legal channels, and I urge my countrymen to be patient through this process. In the 36 hours since the board’s decision, I have been in constant conversation with my family, friends and advisers, and reading the comments of good people and supporters throughout the Haitian diaspora. I’ve also been closely monitoring the situation on the ground, which I am happy to report has remained peaceful and thoughtful…These factors, and more, inspire me now. I am heartened by the world’s focus on Haiti and its needs, as well as the great spirit of the Haitian people–my people, and I cannot in good conscience give up my quest to lead Haiti to the greatness I know in my heart we are capable of reaching. I cannot surrender now, simply because an obstacle has been set before me; now is the time I must stand up and show Haiti–and the world–that my vision of a nation renewed and redeveloped is a vision for which I am willing to fight.” (Statement)
No further details have been released as of now.
Check out some recent footage of Wyclef Jean addressing Haiti down below: