Wyclef Jean Fights Back In Haiti Presidency Ruling, “I Cannot Surrender Now”

Wyclef Jean Fights Back In Haiti Presidency Ruling, “I Cannot Surrender Now”

The Fugees‘ frontman Wyclef Jean has decided to fight back a Haitian election officials ruling stating he may not run for the presidency this fall.

In a prepared statement, Clef said he will seek legal help to reverse this past week’s ruling.

“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)

On Saturday (August 21) morning, Clef issued a letter titled “Keep The Faith” which addressed the ruling.

“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 would still be able to 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 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)

Check out some recent footage of Wyclef Jean addressing Haiti below:

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