Haitian Electoral Council Officially Ends Wyclef Jean's Presidential Bid

By Michael Preston
|  Wednesday, Aug 25, 2010  |  Updated 3:00 AM PDT
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** CORRECTS SPELLING OF WYCLEF ** Haitian-born singer and presidential candidate Wyclef Jean, second left, walks surrounded by security after Haiti's Electoral Council rejected his candidacy in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Friday, Aug. 20, 2010. The council's spokesman Richard Dumel announced Friday that it has accepted 19 candidacies and has rejected 15 others for the upcoming Nov. 28 presidential election, including Jean's because he did not meet the residency requirement of having lived in Haiti for five years before election. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

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The Score: Haitian Electoral Council 3, Wyclef Jean nothing.

After first leaving the hip-hop star off the ballot for this November's presidential elections and then rejecting his claims to residency in Haiti, electoral officials stated that they will not hear Jean's appeals and he is no longer in contention for the office, reports Reuters.

Samuel Pierre of the council's legal arm cited a section of Haitian law that says rulings issued by the electoral body are final, leaving no room for further action by Jean's camp.

"Therefore there is absolutely no possibility for Wyclef Jean to be added to the list of candidates approved to run in the next presidential elections," he said. "So it's over."

On August 21, Jean, 40, was made aware of his disqualification and initially agreed to honor the decision before changing his mind. He was one of 15 candidates who were eventually tossed out of the race to succeed Rene Preval, who is forced to leave office due to term limits.

Haitian officials excluded Jean because they said he did not meet residency requirements, which state that presidential candidates must be able to show five consecutive years of residency before running.

Jean attempted to present legal documentation to prove his standing.

"I have spent half my life in Haiti going back and forth," he said in an interview with MSNBC.

Jean maintained that his celebrity status might be a boon to the shattered nation, which deperately needs financial and developmental aid in the wake of January's massive earthquake that left over 230,000 dead.

Selected Reading: Reuters, New York Times, MSNBC

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