Haiti’s Electoral Council Say Wyclef Can’t Appeal Exclusion from Polls

Haiti’s Electoral Council Say Wyclef Can’t Appeal Exclusion from Polls

Haiti’s Electoral Council Say Wyclef Can’t Appeal Exclusion from Polls

The ruling that prevents music star Wyclef Jean from entering the Haiti presidential race is final and is not open for appeal said a lawyer for the council.

The singer, who was born in Haiti, expressed his interest in appealing the decision. The council felt that he does not satisfy the residency requirements for presidential candidates. Wyclef Jean left the country at age 9 to move to the United States with his family. He enjoys an enthusiastic following of young Haitians, and the disputes over his eligibility have increased the tensions running through the country trying to rebuild itself after January’s earthquake.

His first response to the decision was calm acceptance, with him urging his supporters to act the same. But more recently he has used websites like Facebook and Twitter, combined with releasing statements to the media, accusing the council of corruption.

Article 191 of the electoral law code of Haiti declare all rulings passed by the disputes council are final and available for appeal. Wyclef Jean was only one of the 15 candidates that were disqualified for the presidential election by the council. Candidates in this November’s election will compete to succeed the current President, Rene Preval. 19 candidates were approved as eligible to compete, including a former first lady, two prior prime ministers, and a former minister.

The main requirement that Wyclef Jean failed to meet is the residency length. Candidates must establish, and continue, residency in the country for at least 5 years before attempting to run as a Presidential candidate. The musician claims that he gave the council documents that proved his five years of consecutive residency.

Wyclef Jean believed that he was the ideal candidate for President because of his global renown as a singer, giving him the ability to attract aid and attention from around the world. But he has faced critics who question the intelligence of putting an inexperienced politician in charge of the volatile and rebuilding nation of Haiti.

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