Wyclef Jean 'not giving up on bid'
Published 23/08/2010 | 13:18
Wyclef Jean has insisted he isn't abandoning his presidential bid just yet and will send a lawyer to a Haitian court to appeal a decision rejecting his candidacy.
Speaking from his home in Croix des Bouquets, just northwest of Port-au-Prince, the hip-hop singer said lawyers will go to a Haitian court on Monday to appeal with the national electoral dispute office.
The singer said he has a document "which shows everything is correct" and that he and his aides "feel that what is going on here has everything to do with Haitian politics".
Wyclef's candidacy was rejected by the country's elections board on Friday, presumably because he didn't meet residency requirements.
Later the star said he will try to get the courts to overturn a decision disqualifying him. "They are trying to keep us out of the race," he said, referring to Haiti's political establishment.
Under Haitian law, a presidential candidate must have lived in the country for five consecutive years leading up to the election.
Wyclef has argued that he wasn't required to comply with the law so strictly because after President Rene Preval appointed him as roving ambassador in 2007, he was allowed to travel and live outside the country.
The 40-year-old said he's appealing the board's decision on the basis that it rejected his candidacy before the national electoral dispute office, or BCEN, could issue a final ruling on the residency issue.
Wyclef said that shortly after he filed papers to run in the November 28 election, two Haitian citizens challenged his candidacy, saying he hadn't met residency requirements. The BCEN ruled in his favour, Wyclef asserted, but the two citizens appealed the decision. The case was still pending before the dispute office when the elections board decided to disqualify him, the singer said.