Haiti: Wyclef Jean's dream of becoming Prez ends

Posted By: Samyuktha
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Wyclef Jean
Port-au-Prince, Aug 21: The dream of becoming the President came to an end quickly for hip-hop star Wyclef Jean as his candidacy has been rejected by the Haiti's provisional electoral council.

The council rejected Jean as a presidential candidate as he did not meet a residency requirement to run as a presidential candidate in the nation's Nov 28, 2010 election for a successor to President Rene Preval.

The international celebrity's name did not figure in the list of approved candidates read aloud by the council on Friday, Aug 20 night. The council approved 19 candidates and rejected 15.

The 40-year-old singer-songwriter, who was one among 34 presidential candidates, is popular in his impoverished homeland, which was ravaged by a devastating earthquake that hit the poorest country in the Americas on Jan 12, 2010, leaving over 300,000 people dead.

Jean moved to United States with his family when he was 9. He launched his music career there. However, arguing for him at Haiti, his lawyers had said that Jean always had a "constant presence" in his homeland.

In fact, he has so many followers in Haiti that there were fears that rejection of his candidacy could lead to violence, prompting the authorities to beef up security at the council ahead of the announcement.

Responding to the rejection, the hip-hop star said he respectfully disagreed with the council's decision. He, however, accepted it and urged his supporters to do likewise.

"We must all honour the memories of those we've lost - whether in the earthquake, or at any time - by responding peacefully and responsibly to this disappointment," Jean said in a statement.

"I want to assure my countrymen that I will continue to work for Haiti's renewal; though the board has determined that I am not a resident of Haiti, home is where the heart is - and my heart has and will always be in Haiti," he added.

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