Wyclef Jean ruled out of Haiti race
Saturday 21 August 2010
Haiti's electoral council has ruled that hip hop artist Wyclef Jean cannot run for president.
Spokesman Richard Dumel said in the capital Port-au-Prince that the council accepted 19 candidacies and rejected 15 others, including the former Fugees frontman.
Jean's candidacy had been in doubt over whether he meet the eligibility requirement of having lived in Haiti for five years before the November 28 election.
Jean, whose parents brought him to the United States as a child, has lived off and on in Haiti in recent years.
He has said he cannot meet the residency, in part because he has been a roving ambassador to Haiti.
Crowds had gathered outside the council's office before the decision, which had already been postponed once this week, was announced.
Jean's supporters had said before the ruling that they suspected members of Haiti's political elite were trying to block his campaign.
Before the decision was announced the singer moved from a compound outside the capital to a hotel around the corner from the electoral commission and his family issued a statement saying he was still hoping that he would be accepted as a candidate.
Jean, who gained famed as a member of the Fugees before building a solo career, has no political organisation, not much of a following beyond his fans of his music and only a vague platform, casting himself as an advocate of Haiti's struggling youth and saying he would ask reconstruction donors to help the country's dysfunctional education system.
He has also faced persistent criticism over alleged financial mismanagement at the charity he founded, Yele Haiti.
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