Wyclef Jean On Haiti Presidency Ruling “I Cannot Surrender Now”

Over the weekend we told you that Hip Hop icon and Haitian president hopeful Wyclef Jean was ousted out of the election race because of his ineligibility. Now it turns out that Clef has decided to fight back a Haitian election officials ruling stating he may not run for the presidency this fall.

In a statement the hip hop star said:

“After careful consideration and much soul-searching, I have made the decision to contest Haiti’s board of elections’ pronouncement stating that I am ineligible to run for the presidency of the country,” Jean said in a statement. “I will be seeking a solution through legal channels, and I urge my countrymen to be patient through this process. In the 36 hours since the board’s decision, I have been in constant conversation with my family, friends and advisers, and reading the comments of good people and supporters throughout the Haitian diaspora. I’ve also been closely monitoring the situation on the ground, which I am happy to report has remained peaceful and thoughtful…These factors, and more, inspire me now. I am heartened by the world’s focus on Haiti and its needs, as well as the great spirit of the Haitian people–my people, and I cannot in good conscience give up my quest to lead Haiti to the greatness I know in my heart we are capable of reaching. I cannot surrender now, simply because an obstacle has been set before me; now is the time I must stand up and show Haiti–and the world–that my vision of a nation renewed and redeveloped is a vision for which I am willing to fight.”

Haiti’s electoral council ruled last Friday Jean cannot run in the nation’s presidential election. Questions came up about whether the rapper met eligibility requirements, as a candidate must live in Haiti for five consecutive years before the election. Jean’s supporters said they suspected Haiti’s political elite were trying to derail his bid. The council accepted 19 candidates and rejected 15. The musician was born in Haiti, raised in Brooklyn and lived in his home country on and off in recent years. Jean said he cannot meet the residency requirement, in part because he has been a roving ambassador for the country since 2007.