Wyclef Jean: “If I Was President”

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Wyclef Jean’s presidential aspiration has been rekindled after having been rejected by Haiti’s Provisional Electoral Council. The entertainer has decided to fight last week’s decision to disqualify him from running in Haiti’s presidential election.

“If I was president, I’d get elected on Friday, assassinated on Saturday, and buried on Sunday… then go back to work on Monday” Wyclef Jean’s single “If i was president”, released in 2006 has a near prophetic ring.

Indeed, all seemed lost for the 40-year-old singer-songwriter last Friday when the Provisional Electoral Council announced that Mr. Wyclef Jean’s candidacy to run in Haiti’s presidential elections had been rejected.

The former fugees member consoled his fans on his Twitter page: “Keep The Faith – 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.”

But Wyclef Jean is back in politics. He has decided not to give up without a fight and decided to appeal the Provisional Electoral Council’s decision not to allow him to run for president. His lawyers have also said they would hold a press conference in Port-au-Prince, the country’s capital, on Monday to explain how they intend to challenge the Council’s choice.

Under Haitian law, anyone who wishes to run for president must have lived in the country for five consecutive years leading up to the election. But Wyclef Jean argues that he was not required to comply with the law per se following his appointment by President Rene Preval as a roving ambassador in 2007. An appointment that allowed him to travel and live outside the country.

His decision to appeal the decision comes after the entertainer said: “We have met all the requirements set by the laws” to participate in the poll. “The law must be respected” he concludes on his twitter feed on Sunday.

Following his decision to run for Haiti’s highest office, the artist had become the subject of controversy as the Council debated on his political future, ending with their decision to reject his candidacy based on the fact that he did not live permanently in Haiti, at least for the past five years.

The Phoenix rises from ashes

The turnaround was sudden. Initially, the singer had shown a rather timorous attitude after he accepted the Council’s decision, while urging his “supporters to do the same”. He had even considered leaving the island on Sunday. But after a great show of support from his supporters, especially from young Haitians, Wyclef Jean’s presidential bid is back on track.

The exclusion of the entertainer had caused an upheaval on the streets of Port au Prince, on Saturday, raising fears of protracted riots in the capital.

The United Nations Stabilisation Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) called ‘on political parties and candidates participating in presidential elections to respect the laws prescribed in the Elections Act”.

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