Wyclef confident of eligibility
Wyclef Jean has said he is confident Haiti election officials will accept his candidacy to run for president despite doubts over whether he meets the residency requirement.
The former Fugees frontman spoke while in hiding, following death threats, in a white stucco building on a dirt road. The multi-millionaire philanthropist, who was born in Haiti but raised in New York, said he had filed "every piece of paper the electoral council has asked for".
"We are winning on law," added the 40-year-old, speaking from a rattan chair in his hideaway about two hours from the presidential palace in Haiti's capital, Port-au-Prince.
He argued his appointment as a roving ambassador to Haiti in 2007 exempts him from the five-year residency requirement. But even if he is barred from running in Haiti's November 28 elections, Wyclef said he would call for peace among his supporters.
"I will ask people to move in peace and move calmly," he said.
Haiti's electoral council was supposed to publish a list of candidates on Tuesday, but postponed the decision until Friday, a move some speculate was due to Wyclef's bid even though dozens of other candidacies must be decided on.
Wyclef, dressed casually in a blue-and-white striped shirt and blue slacks, spoke for 20 minutes with men with machine guns present, men drinking rum, and lawyers.
"I think my candidacy is a wild card for Haiti," he said.
He admitted that he had rankled some in Haitian politics by running and added that he had received death threats in Creole, one of the country's main languages, which have led him to go into hiding.
"We have taken measures of security," he said. "Even with security, anything is possible."