Port-au-Prince, Aug 23 : Singer Wyclef Jean Monday plans to appeal a decision by the Haitian Electoral Commission last week that he is not eligible to run for president of the Caribbean nation.
The singer announced on his Twitter page that his lawyers would file an appeal and said he believes he meets all requirements to run for president.
Jean was barred from contesting Haiti’s November presidential election after his name was not on the list released Friday of 19 candidates approved to run for president.
Despite his lack of political experience, Jean, 38, a Haitian-born US musician, was expected to do well in the Nov 28 vote because of his popularity, particularly among young people.
Rumours about a rejection of his candidacy have been ongoing virtually since he announced his intention to run for president this month.
One of the conditions for a candidacy to be accepted is that the candidate in question has to have lived in Haiti over the past five years, and Jean said Friday the commission had determined he was not a resident of Haiti.
Jean was born in the Caribbean nation but has lived in the US since his family immigrated when he was a child. He had a successful international career as a hip-hop singer in the 1990s, and his foundation Yele Haiti has long supported youth projects in his native country.
He has been particularly active in reconstruction efforts after the Jan 12 earthquake in which an estimated 222,750 people – or 2 percent of Haiti’s population – died and at least 300,572 were injured.