[artist id="1162"]Wyclef Jean[/artist] is officially out of the running to be Haiti’s next president.
Haitian election officials put the kibosh on the musician’s bid to lead the troubled island nation, according to The Associated Press.
“Though I disagree with the ruling, I respectfully accept the committee’s final decision, and I urge my supporters to do the same,” 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.”
The Haitian electoral council reportedly did not reveal why Jean was found ineligible to become an official candidate, but the singer has been dogged by questions about his status as a resident of Haiti. The news comes after recent reports indicated that Jean was not on the approved list of candidates for the November 28 election.
Jean’s attempt to become president of Haiti has been a brief but memorable endeavor. After speculation that the Grammy-winning artist would seek political office reached a fever pitch, Jean announced his intention to run for president on August 5 on CNN’s “Larry King Live.” The MC said that he was inspired to enter the political arena after witnessing the devastating effects of the January earthquake that has ravaged the nation.
“After January 12 … being out here with my wife and picking up dead bodies from the ground, I felt that because of the youth of Haiti and the population, that this is not even Wyclef saying that ‘I want to be the president of Haiti.’ I feel like I’m being drafted by the population right now to give them a different face, a different voice,” Jean said.
However, Jean’s political aspirations were quickly questioned by high-profile critics such as actor Sean Penn and Jean’s former Fugees bandmate Pras. Pras told MTV News that he didn’t believe the chart-topping artist had the experience to guide the country through its range of complex issues.
“He talks about health care, he talks about education, he talks about infrastructure,” Pras said. “But that’s in any society. That’s right here in America, we need that. But how are you gonna get to that point? There’s a short-term goal that needs to be addressed and there’s a long-term goal. To be honest with you, the short term is probably more important than the long term. And he didn’t even mention the short term.”
How do you feel now that Wyclef won’t be Haiti’s next president? Let us know in the comments below!