Haiti's Election Officials Disqualify Wyclef Jean's Run for Presidency
Haiti's election officials have disqualified Wyclef Jean from running for president, ending his high-profile bid to lead and rebuild the earthquake-ravaged country, according to The Associated Press.
Wyclef Jean announces candidacy for president of Haiti on Larry King Live
The Haitian-American hip-hop artist expressed his disappointment following the ruling Friday.
"Though I disagree with the ruling, I respectfully accept the committee's final decision, and I urge my supporters to do the same. We must all honor the memories of those we've lost — whether in the earthquake, or at anytime — by responding peacefully and responsibly to this disappointment," Jean said in a statement to TVGuide.com. "This ruling just tells me that I can't officially seek the office of president. More importantly, there is no one who can tell me to stop my work in Haiti, and there is no one who could. I think of my daughter, Angelina, and it makes me want to redouble my efforts to help give all the children in Haiti better days."
Haiti's electoral commission did not reveal why Jean was disqualified, but the rules governing the election state that candidates must have lived in Haiti for the past five years. Jean left Haiti with his family for New York when he was 9 years old and now resides primarily in New Jersey.
The former Fugees singer, who became an official Haitian ambassador-at-large in 2007, announced his intentions to run for president on Larry King Live earlier this month. At that time, Jean claimed he met all requirements to run for the office and said his priorities included improving education and rebuilding the country's infrastructure, as well as focusing on security, jobs and health care.