Is Wyclef Jean eligible to run for president of Haiti?
Wyclef Jean is rumored to be running for president of Haiti. The Haiti Constitution gives six clear requirements for becoming president, however, and Wyclef may not meet them all.
(Page 2 of 2)
A Monitor search of public archives does not show Wyclef having ever been sentenced to death, personal restraint, or penal servitude or lost civil rights for a crime. In 2002, during a protest with fellow musicians P Diddy and Alicia Keys against proposed budget cuts at New York City public schools, he was arrested and briefly jailed for disorderly conduct. But this would not block a presidential run.Skip to next paragraph
"I didn't go to prison for no drugs, no guns, or whatever. I went to prison because I believe they shouldn't cut the budget... when it comes for protesting for the right cause, that's what I'm all about. I'm a revolutionary," he told BBC News shortly afterward.
Potential roadblock: residence
However, one category may throw a wrench in any potential run for Haiti's highest office.
Wyclef spends much time in the United States, and it is unclear if his stints living in Haiti will qualify him for having resided in the country for five consecutive years before the election.
The Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) will rule on this if Wyclef decides to run for president, says Ambassador Joseph, who has consulted his nephew on his political plans.
“We talked about this – we talk all the time,” says Joseph, declining to divulge more.
He notes that one attribute of a president that is not constitutionally required, but is Wyclef’s greatest asset, is his popularity. “He is sort of a spokesperson for a large segment of Haiti’s youth,” he says.
Is there any Haitian more popular?
“I don’t think so,” the ambassador says.
- Wyclef Jean, President of Haiti: Do Haitians like the sound of that?
- Still homeless from Haiti earthquake, thousands fight forced evictions
- Six months after the Haiti earthquake, what progress?