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Wyclef Jean reportedly ineligible to run for president of Haiti


Apparently, Wyclef Jean won't be gone till November after all. Earlier this month, the former Fugees rapper and philanthropist announced his candidacy to be the next president of Haiti,   but according to a Reuters report, his bid does not satisfy legal requirements to make the official ballot in November.

The 37-year-old musician has come under fire in recent weeks for the decision, with Sean Penn lambasting his decision and Win Butler of the Arcade Fire comparing Jean's bid  to "Arnold Schwarzenegger only speaking Austrian and being elected president of the United States after New York and L.A. had burned to the ground."

Even his former bandmate, Pras, assailed Jean's lack of fluency in French and Creole as a chief impediment to tackling the complex workings of the Haitian government and dealing with the country's problems of poverty and a crumbled infrastructure, in the wake of the cataclysmic earthquake that struck in January.

According to the Reuters report, Jean  did not meet the proper residency requirements, namely, five consecutive years of residency prior to being eligible to run. Jean has yet to comment publicly on the reports.

As of earlier this week, he had reportedly been in hiding after several threats to his life -- presumably using this song as his theme music. 

-- Jeff Weiss

Photo: Wyclef Jean walks the street in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Credit: Peter Andrew Bosch / MCT

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Rice University professor Mark Jones said that other candidates would do well to build bridges with Jean during their own presidential campaigns. "The other candidates should try to get him on their team," he said.

The next Haitian president will manage billions of aid dollars that will go to rebuilding Haiti, which is still recovering from the Jan. 12 earthquake that killed 300,000 people and leveled much of its capital city in Port-au-Prince.

These very factors contributed to a climate where voters could consider electing an outsider like Jean, said Haiti expert Robert Fatton Jr., of the University of Virginia.

"The very fact that he is taken seriously when, in fact, he has no preparation to be president is an indication that the whole country, in particular the youth, looks at the typical Haitian population as a bankrupt kind of species," Fatton said.

Jean was among 15 candidates who were rejected by the commission. Nineteen were approved to run in the upcoming election, including former prime ministers Jacques-Edouard Alexis and Yvon Neptune.

Mark Jones & Robert Fatton: Back away from that torpedo. If Haiti elects inept & corrupt top officials who carry on the tradition of raping the country, it will continue down the spiral of poverty & destruction. Yes, Haiti probably needs an outsider(s). But it's not someone who offers no high office experience. Pictures of Jean and his posse flashing GANGSTA signs while bending the election rules aren't the answer. It is a glimpse of things to come should they fondle "billions" in relief money.

Consider all the different barriers on matters of global concern and safety, from Financial Aid, Trade, to Nukes that each & every U.S. Presidential Administration has had to deal and communicate with.

Each president has done the obvious on 1000's of occasions.

What plagues Haiti's is simple and In Plain Site. Decades of Poverty. Decades of blatant Corruption, inadequate, antiquated Health Care, Education, Back Door Sweetheart Deals benefiting the political elite & other in the Network, Kick-Backs and Bribes , Shoddy below-Code- Infrastructure-Construction & Engineering, that the earthquake unearthed and brought into the limelight, & more.

If what is being said in this article is true, you are right about 1 thing without really saying it. French and Creole has perpetuated the same failures under the guise of a small amount of spending on improvements but falls way short of what has been possible given the Millions of Dollars pumped into Haiti through it's government, and only an Audit (an accounting) that is conducted can explain anything, which is reasonable and practical as well as non-political, will it ever be known where all the money has been going for the last 4 (Four) Years or 4 Decades, and why French and Creole speaking government can put its hands out for more $ with too few advancements for its people again, that has netted "What" for Hatian citizens?

Honest and responsible Monay Management to transform Haiti into the present day, is not Quantum Physics, Brain Surgery, Rocket Science, or Psychotherapy. It's simpler than these things, but it does require altruistic words, followed up with necessary actions.

The Per Capita Income of Haiti's citizens make sit clear the possibilities of this trainable workforce in a short time, and to attract investment for withing the country.

It has taken years of systematic, habitual mismanagement to continue to freeze Haiti in it's current condition, and it will take time to bring necessary positive changes that citizens must demand every breathing day, but nothing short of the rooting out of those elements that will only perpetuate the same, while spewing empty words with no actual intended actions again for the benefit of the People, such as a Parliament who can fire the President, which means that even if such Integrity and Fiscal Responsibility were voted into office, esp. someone NOT in anyone's pockets that owes any favors in return, this orchestrated "Failsafe" will only act as a measure by Parliament to change NOTHING. That will = the SAME Nothing.

Since a U.S. President can do a good job, despite any failures and no matter the challenges, such as Reagan in 2 terms through the economic disasters of the Junk Bond era and the S&L crisis' that took more years to completely recover from than it took to bring the economy down w/ back-to-back criminal schemes, and larger scale countries like China, who dramatically decreased poverty w/ still a long way to go and create over Three Hundred Million middle-class workers including at the expense of millions of U.S. Jobs in about 20 Years, no matter the scale, small, medium, or large, it is openly possible to transform Haiti.

Learning a new language or mastering fluency can be done at ANY age, and is not necessarily a barrier.

P.S. I am not a Republican or Democrat & voted for neither in the last
election. I am not Haitian.

I have lived in Haiti and have many friends there and am connected to Haiti to many ways. I am praying for a new government influence .... one who really cares about Haiti and its people. Wyclef Jean.... since you cannot be President... my prayer will be that you can use your 'fame, name, influence and MONEY'.... to help Haiti. You could do so many Fundraisers with your band and music! You could help with reorganizing the School systems in Haiti so that ALL children have a chance to go to school... a PUBLIC SCHOOL paid by the GOVERNMENT..... and help in so many ways.... SO... PLEASE continue to have the desire to help HAITI....'your country'. Learn 'Your Country's Language... CREOLE..... and I wish you all of the best!

Oh well. I guess your embezzlement of your own Haiti charity didn't get you in the "inner circle" in your own country, eh Jean?

Never fear; I'm sure that, based on how you ran Haiti Yele, the uber-leftist, Hugo Chavez-esque Democrat Party - as well as The All Seeing And Shining Glorious Leader, Chairman MAObama - will be more than happy to welcome you with open arms.


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