Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 25 October 2014

Wyclef Jean to fight election snub

Wyclef Jean has insisted he will fight a decision which excludes him from the race to become Haiti's president

Hip-hop singer Wyclef Jean has insisted he is not abandoning his presidential bid just yet and will send a lawyer to a Haitian court to appeal a decision rejecting his candidacy.

Jean has said lawyers will go to a Haitian court on Monday to appeal with the national electoral dispute office.

The singer said he has a document "which shows everything is correct" and that he and his aides "feel that what is going on here has everything to do with Haitian politics".

Jean's candidacy was rejected by the country's elections board on Friday night, presumably because he did not meet residency requirements.

Later Jean said he will try to get the courts to overturn a decision disqualifying him from the race. "They are trying to keep us out of the race," he said, referring to Haiti's political establishment.

Under Haitian law, a presidential candidate must have lived in the country for five consecutive years leading up to the election.

Jean has argued that he was not required to comply with the law so strictly because after President Rene Preval appointed him as roving ambassador in 2007, he was allowed to travel and live outside the country.

The 40-year-old singer said that he is appealing the Haitian board's decision on the basis that it rejected his candidacy before the national electoral dispute office, or BCEN, could issue a final ruling on the residency issue.

Jean said he had planned to leave the country this weekend to see his family in New Jersey, but has decided to stay in Haiti to see the appeal process through.

Some officials in Haiti were worried about political unrest among Jean supporters after his candidacy was rejected. But the singer has asked his fans to stay calm, and there have been no significant election-related protests or violence.

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