Since the rapper announced his bid for office on "Larry King Live" earlier this month, his plans have been met largely with enthusiasm from the country's residents, but he has been challenged on one key presidential requirement: residency. "He is not on the list as I speak," an electoral official told Reuters, citing legal requirements that Jean does not meet as the reason for his exclusion. However, the official would not reveal which specific requirements the singer has failed to meet.
Wyclef, who left Haiti with his family to live in New York at the age of 9, said on CNN that he was running because he felt he had been "drafted by the population," in the wake of the country's devastating January earthquake.
"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," the singer explained.
Wyclef has acknowledged his lack of political experience, but also argued that his position as a political outsider would work to his advantage.
"What qualifies me to be president of Haiti, when I look at the past 200 years, with what our people have suffered, Wolf — political instability, coup after coup d'état — I feel that me running, it brings a neutral situation, meaning that Wyclef Jean can sit with any political party and have a conversation. I'm coming in neutral," he said.
Wyclef has not yet responded to the latest news, but posted the following to his Twitter account on Thursday (August 19): "NEWS:::: I am speaking on Larry King tonight about the elections in Haiti, Tune in."
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