In an interview with The Associated Press on Sunday, hip-hop singer and erstwhile candidate for president of Haiti, Wyclef Jean, announced he will appeal the decision by Haiti’s elections board to disqualify him as a candidate for the Haitian presidency.
In its announcement on Friday, the board provided a list of 19 accepted candidates and 15, including Jean, who were rejected without specifying reasons for either acceptance or rejection. However AP alleged that “Jean said that shortly after he filed his papers to run in the Nov. 28 election, two Haitian citizens challenged his candidacy, saying he had not met the residency requirements.” The board then allegedly ruled that Jean did not meet the residency requirement for presidential candidates because he has not resided in Haiti for the five consecutive years prior to announcing his candidacy. In his appeal announcement, Jean asserted that his appointment in 2007 by former Haitian president Rene Preval as the country’s roving ambassador exempted him from the residency requirement because the job required him to travel extensively around the world.
In the AP interview, Jean alleged that 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. In a reference to Haiti’s political establishment, Jean said, “They are trying to keep us out of the race.”
Jean spoke to the AP by telephone from his home in a Port-au-Prince suburb.