Wyclef Jean rejected as Haiti presidential candidate
Haiti's provisional electoral council ruled on Friday that hip-hop star Wyclef Jean was not eligible to run as a presidential candidate in the country's Nov 28 election.world Updated: Aug 21, 2010 08:49 IST
Haiti's provisional electoral council ruled on Friday that hip-hop star Wyclef Jean was not eligible to run as a presidential candidate in the country's Nov 28 election.
Singer-songwriter Jean, 40, an international celebrity who is popular in his impoverished and earthquake-ravaged homeland, was left off the list of approved candidates read aloud by the council on Friday night.
A council member told Reuters on Thursday that Jean did not meet several of the legal requirements to contest the November election to choose a successor to President Rene Preval, who cannot run again after two terms.
It was not immediately clear what requirements the council felt had not been met.
Jean was among 34 presidential candidates considered by the electoral authority, which approved 19 candidates and rejected 15.
Among those approved to run were two-time Prime Minister Jacques Edouard Alexis; Leslie Voltaire, a US-educated urban planner and former minister: Yvon Neptune, another former prime minister who served under former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide; and well-known opposition leader and former first lady Mirlande Manigat.
UN and Haitian police guarded the provisional electoral council headquarters in Port-au-Prince to prevent any trouble as feverish expectations mounted over which contenders would be on the confirmed list to run.
It was feared that Jean's exclusion and that of other contenders from the electoral race on legal grounds could stir political tensions and possible violence. Haiti, the poorest country in the Americas, is struggling to recover from the devastating Jan 12 earthquake that killed up to 300,000 people.
Key among the complicating requirements for Jean was believed to be a stipulation candidates needed to have had five consecutive years of residency in Haiti.
Jean, who left his impoverished homeland with his family to live in New York at the age of 9 and launched his music career in the United States, had presented arguments his lawyers said showed a "constant presence."