Wycelf Jean’s dream of becoming Haiti’s president appear to have ended following a government official’s verification that his name will not be on tomorrow’s approved candidate list.
The news was leaked to Reuters tonight by an electoral official who declined to be identified. Although he did not provide specific details, the official confirmed that Jean’s application was rejected for failing to satisfy several “legal requirements.”
“He is not on the list as I speak,” the official said.
Wyclef Jean was born in Haiti but migrated to the United States at the age of nine. He became a member of the Hip-Hop trio The Fugees and released a chart-topping album in 1996’s The Score. As a solo artist, Jean has received several Grammy nominations and worked with artists such as Mary J. Blige, Carlos Santana, DJ Quik and T.I.
His decision to run for Haiti’s presidency has been met with strong detractors from his homeland and the United States. Actor and activist Sean Penn questioned if the rapper’s motivations were genuine in cleaning up the country’s devastation following a 4.0 earthquake earlier this year. Jean’s former band mate and cousin Pras declined to endorse him, favoring Michael Martelly on the grounds that he had a clearer political agenda. And Haitians in both America and Haiti have expressed reservations about the rapper’s leadership abilities and knowledge of the country’s intricate political and economic issues.
In addition, Wyclef has had to endure accusations of financial impropriety regarding his Haiti charity Yele. He resigned from the organization to make his presidential run.
Wyclef Jean could not be reached for comment. At press time, the formal list will be released on tomorrow (August 20).
Haiti’s presidential election takes place on November 28.