Wyclef Jean Announces Candidacy for President of Haiti on Larry King Live
Wyclef Jean announced his candidacy for president of Haiti on Larry King Live Thursday.
His priorities include improving education and rebuilding the earthquake-ravaged country's infrastructure, as well as focusing on security, jobs and health care, he told Wolf Blitzer, who was filling in for the vacationing King on CNN.
Report: Wyclef Jean wants to run for president of Haiti
After various coups in his native land, he said he brings "a neutral situation, meaning that Wyclef Jean can sit with any political party, have a conversation ... What I'm saying is when you vote for Wyclef Jean, you basically try something new."
Plus, he maintained that he represents "the youth of the nation," which he said makes up about 50 percent of the population.
Check out videos of Wyclef Jean
Jean said he had long considered a move from entertainment into politics.
"Wolf, to be honest, the idea of being part of our country was always in my mind, but after Jan. 12," he said, "and picking up dead bodies from the ground ... this is not even Wyclef saying that I want to be the president of Haiti, I feel like I'm being drafted by the population to give them a different face, a different voice."
Blitzer asked whether he had the residency requirements, and Jean maintained he met them and owned property in the country.
The Grammy-winning hip-hop star, who's been socially active and raised money to help the victims of January's devastating earthquake in Haiti, moved to the United States when he was 9, growing up in New York and living in New Jersey.
Earlier Thursday, Jean — who became a star with The Fugees before embarking on a solo music career — formally filed the paperwork for his presidential run at an electoral office in Port-au-Prince, where he was greeted by dozens of supporters.
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Jean, who also announced that he's resigning from his Yele Haiti Foundation, has faced accusations of misusing the charity's funds. He denied that at the time, promising to be more attentive to the organization's finances.
He again denied that any of the money went into his pocket Thursday, and told Blitzer that he has paid all he owes to the Internal Revenue Service.
Haiti's presidential election is scheduled for Nov. 28.
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