Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Rumors of Wyclef Jean running for Haiti presidency

Rumors are swirling over Hip Hop artist Wyclef Jean and a possible run for political office. An election official in Haiti claims the Jean will run for President in the upcoming elections. People are debating whether Jean is qualified enough to run the country, but some say the people qualified have done nothing for them.

From this Associated Press story that we found at KIDK, writer Jonathan Katz tells us more about Wyclef Jean's interest in politics.

Jean is popular in Haiti for his music and for his work through his charity Yele Haiti, which raised millions of dolars after the Jan. 12 earthquake that killed an estimated 300,000 people and knocked down most of the government ministries and many of the homes in the capital.

Rumors have swirled for months that Jean would run for president. The singer has always been careful not to rule out a run for the office and recorded a song "If I was President."

The 37-year-old was born outside Port-au-Prince but left as a child and grew up in Brooklyn.

Dozens of candidates are expected to compete for the presidency in the Nov. 28 election, among them Jean's uncle Raymond Joseph, who is Haiti's ambassador in Washington. Other likely candidates include former prime ministers, mayors and another popular Haitian musician, Michel "Sweet Micky" Martelly.

All must register their candidancies with the country's electoral council by Saturday. The electoral council's director of registration, Jean-Marie Lumier, said Tuesday he had not received papers for Jean's bid.

Questions surround Jean's qualifications for office. He must prove he has resided in Haiti for five consecutive years, own property in the country and have no other citizenship but Haitian. Officials have disqualified some candidates on technicalities while allowing others to run.

In 2007, the singer was named an official Haitian ambassador-at-large by President Rene Preval, whom Jean supported in his 2006 re-election bid. Preval has served two non-consecutive terms and is barred by the constitution from seeking office again.

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