Wyclef drops presidential bid

Hip-hop star Wyclef Jean announced that he is abandoning his attempt to run in Haiti's November presidential election.

"After weeks of quiet but painstaking reflection with my wife and daughter, I have chosen to end my bid for the presidency of Haiti," the singer-songwriter said in a statement.

"This was not an easy conclusion to reach; but it is one that was thoughtfully made," Jean added.

The Haitian-born Jean, who has lived most of his life in the United States, said he would now focus on his music. He said he planned to release a new album next year titled "If I were President, the Haitian Experience."

Haiti's electoral council ruled last month that Jean failed to meet a requirement that presidential candidates maintain five consecutive years of residency in the country before running.

Days after the electoral court's decision, Jean released a song on Haiti's radio airwaves accusing outgoing President Rene Preval of engineering his rejection as a candidate.

Jean had said he would appeal the decision, but officials said the electoral body's ruling was definitive under Haitian law.

Popular among Haiti's youth, Jean faced questions whether a celebrity with no political experience was the best person to govern the country, which is struggling to recover from a January earthquake that killed as many as 300,000 people.

"Though my run for the presidency was cut short, I feel it was not in vain," Jean said.

Jean left Haiti with his family to live in New York at age 9 and launched his music career in the United States.

We're sure he's crushed. Do you think he should have continued fighting to be president of Haiti?

- Reuters

Read more on: haiti  |  entertainment  |  wyclef jean


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