Wyclef Jean drops bid for Haiti presidency. Is 'Sweet Micky' the next best thing?
Wyclef Jean said the decision came from 'weeks of quiet but painstaking reflection.' The hip-hop star's absence opens the field to other candidates.
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Following the Jan. 12 Haiti earthquake that killed more than 200,000 people and displaced 2 million more, Jean’s nonprofit group, Yéle Haiti, raised an estimated $9 million for the relief efforts.Skip to next paragraph
In Pictures Wyclef for President
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Capitalizing on that, Jean launched his presidential bid in early August, but was rejected Aug. 20 because he apparently failed to meet a residency requirement. Jean, who in 2005 was appointed Haiti's ambassador-at-large, owns homes in Port-au-Prince, Miami, and New Jersey, and frequently travels on music tours.
Jean's disqualification, along with all other presidential candidates from the Haitian diaspora, led to allegations that the domestic political elite was manipulating the country's election commission (CEP) to freeze out strong challengers. Further allegations that President René Préval has attempted to interfere with the CEP to sway the election has undermined confidence in the government’s ability to hold a credible poll, The Christian Science Monitor reported last week.
Gamarra says, however, that Jean was justly disqualified and the CEP has operated with due process.
"Everybody who was disqualified has raised questions about the competency of the court, its political ties, but I would say generally, despite the alleged ties to Préval, the court has ruled well on all cases," says Gamarra. "I think you would be hard pressed to find a case where the court was absolutely prejudiced against a candidate."
Jean wrote Tuesday on Twitter, "Will never give up on Haiti. I wish all the Candidates the best of Luck."
Last Friday, he tweeted: "Me Running for president was never about winning or losing, it has always been in my D N A to make sure that my Country is never Forgotten."