Haitian American hip-hop star Wyclef Jean is not on the list of approved candidates who satisfy legal requirements to run in Haiti’s Nov. 28 presidential election, an electoral official said Thursday.
The presidential bid by the 39-year-old singer-songwriter and international celebrity had triggered widespread enthusiasm in his poor, earthquake-ravaged Caribbean homeland. But it had been challenged on the grounds that Jean, whose primary residence is in New Jersey, did not fully meet the requirements, including a key one on Haitian residency.
“He is not on the list as I speak,” said the member of the country’s provisional electoral council, who asked not to be identified.
He said the electoral disputes bureau entrusted with settling challenges to candidacies had ruled that Jean did not meet several legal requirements, but he gave no details.
Jean, who left Haiti with his family to live in Brooklyn, N.Y., at the age of 9 and launched his music career in the United States, was among 34 contenders for the Haitian presidency who filed their documents with the council this month.
There was no immediate comment from Jean, who earlier Thursday met President Rene Preval in Port-au- Prince, the nation’s capital.
The provisional electoral council was expected Friday to formally publish the list of approved candidates to succeed Preval, who cannot seek reelection, having served two terms in office.
Haiti is still struggling to recover from the Jan. 12 earthquake that killed more than 200,000 people and dealt a crippling blow to a country that was already the poorest in the Western Hemisphere.