Wyclef Jean: Not so Haitian

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Haiti’s Provisional Electoral Council will not budge despite Wyclef Jean’s struggle to appeal its decision not to allow him to run in the country’s next presidential election. His candidacy was irrevocably rejected on Tuesday.

It is the end of the road for singer-songwriter Wyclef Jean, as his presidential aspirations come to a screeching halt after his candidacy was irrevocably rejected Tuesday.

“There is absolutely no possibility for Wyclef Jean to be added to the list of candidates approved to run in the next presidential elections,” Samuel Pierre of Haiti’s Provisional Electoral Council’s legal department said. “It’s over.”

Under Article 191 of the Haitian electoral law, the electoral authority’s disputes tribunal rulings are final. Sunday, the former Fugees member announced he would appeal the council’s decision after he was ruled out of the presidential race. But the electoral council denied having received any formal request for an appeal from Wyclef Jean’s lawyers.

Wyclef Jean, not so Haitian

According to the council, Wyclef Jean’s candicay was rejected because he did not live on the island on permanent basis. The artist, aged 40, left Haiti when he was only nine years old to live in New York where he launched his music career.

However, in an interview with U.S. television network MSNBC, Wyclef Jean says he has “spent half (his) life in Haiti going back and forth”. 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.

Wyclef Jean also 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.

After the announcement of the council’s refusal, the entertainer had decided to fight last week’s decision to disqualify him from running in Haiti’s presidential election.

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