WYCLEF JEAN BARRED FROM RUNNING IN HAITI’S NOVEMBER 28 ELECTIONS

Haiti hip-hop star Wyclef Jean failed to meet legal requirements to run in the country’s Nov. 28 presidential election, Reuters is reporting, citing an unnamed elections official. Jean, who has lived most of his life in New Jersey, was unable to prove a five year residency requirement stipulated by Haiti’s electoral rules. The country Provisional Electoral Council is due to formally publish the full list of approved candidates on Friday. More than 30 candidates are seeking to take over the reins from President Rene Preval. Jean, 40, left Haiti with his family to live in the U.S. at the age of 9, told Reuters he has yet to be formally notified of the council’s decision. His lawyers say he has maintained a “constant presence” in Haiti since 2005, citing his Haitian passport, a family home outside Port-au-Prince and his share in local commercial TV station Telemax. Jean is especially popular among young Haitians seeking political change. There is concern in some quarters that if Jean is barred from running it could set off street protests. Conditions in the hemisphere’s poorest country were worsened by a devastating Jan 12th earthquake which left 1.5 million Haitians homeless and living in tents.

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