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Ineligible: Wyclef Jean's bid to be Haiti's president cut short [Updated]

August 20, 2010 |  8:41 pm


Reports that Wyclef Jean would not be eligible to run for president of Haiti circulated all day Friday, and now the confirmation is in: The electoral council late Friday announced 19 eligible candidates, and 15 ineligible ones.

The singer's name was on the ineligible list.

[Updated, 9:25 p.m.: Jean responded late Friday to news of the decision. "Though I disagree with the ruling, I respectfully accept the committee's final decision, and I urge my supporters to do the same," he said in an essay on the Huffington Post. The committee had determined he was not a resident of Haiti, he said, adding, "home is where the heart is -- and my heart has and will always be in Haiti."

"Do not think that my role in the future of Haiti is over; it's just a different role than I had anticipated it to be."]

No reason was specified, though concerns had been voiced about whether he would meet residency requirements. To run for president of Haiti, a candidate must be a resident for five consecutive years before the election; Jean, born in Haiti, has shuttled back and forth between that country and the United States.

Jean himself didn't know the decision in advance, saying on Twitter earlier in the day, "We ...

... await the decision of the Electoral Council,To see if I made the list as a Candidate. As it is written So Shall it be Done!"

-- Christie D'Zurilla

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

Photo: Singer Wyclef Jean, in the white shirt, is greeted by supporters as he exits a hotel in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, while waiting to hear if he would be considered eligible to run in the country's Nov. 28 presidential election. Credit: Joe Raedle / Getty Images

Related dispatches from the Ministry of Gossip: 

PREACH IT! Sean Penn vs. Wyclef Jean in a verbal cage match to the death!

Haiti quake relief: Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt rally behind Wyclef Jean to help; Twitter roster grows

Earthquake in Haiti: celebrities and fans respond on Twitter