Wyclef Announces Haitian Presidency, Pras & Sean Penn Leery

As promised, Wyclef Jean officially announced that he’d be running for President in his native country of Haiti on Larry King Live last night (August 5).

With Wolf Blitzer taking over for King during Thursday night’s broadcast, ‘Clef excitingly told the veteran newsman his reasoning for joining the campaign live via satellite in Haiti. ”After January 12… being out here with my wife and picking up dead bodies from the ground, I felt that because of the youth of Haiti and the population that this is not even Wyclef saying that ‘I want to be the president of Haiti,’” he said. “I feel like I’m being drafted by the population right now to give them a different face, a different voice.”

Yet the Brooklyn-bred musician is already facing criticism from his former Fugees rap partner Pras and outspoken actor/activist Sean Penn. Pras revealed in a statement that he will be casting his vote for another presidential hopeful. “I endorse Michel Martell as the next president of Haiti because he is the most competent candidate for the job,” he said.

Penn—who, like Jean, has worked very closely with the Haitian people to help rebuild the country in the wake of the devastating earthquake that claimed hundreds of thousands of lives earlier this year—was more direct in his opposition.

“Right now, I worry that this is a campaign that is more about a vision of flying around the world, talking to people,” he said on Larry King Live. “It’s certainly not one of the youth drafting him. I would be quite sure that this is an influence of corporations here in the United States and private individuals that may well have capitalized on his will to see himself flying around the world.”

Clef shot back at the Milk star. “I just want Sean Penn to fully understand I am a Haitian, born in Haiti and I’ve been coming to my country ever since (I was) a child,” he said in a statement. “He might just want to pick up the phone and meet, so he fully understands the man.”

Pras and Penn may be the least of Clef’s problems, though. According thesmokingun.com the artist-turned-politician owes the IRS more than $2.1 million. The IRS has reportedly filed three liens against Clef since 2007. Before that, he faced similar issues brought against him by the State Tax Commissions of New York and New Jersey.

As previously reported, Jean has also faced financial issues related to his Yele organization—which he stepped down from yesterday. WJ faced allegations that he and his business partner engaged in improprieties related to funds and profited from the organization. Jean vehemently denied the accusations earlier this year. —Elan Mancini

  • that nigga

    Clef is not a viable candidate.

  • I’m At work and bored

    “The singer released a statement that he was resigning the chairmanship of Yele Haiti effective immediately Thursday”

    He can’t even handle running a charity organization and he thinks he can unite his country? Really? How about trying putting the Fugees back together instead first.

    Seriously, what is he going to do when he’s elected? Make another expensive music video about Haiti? Or how about make We Are The World part 3?

    Where did all the money go Clef?

  • W. J. Rice

    In no way shape or form is Wyclef the proper candidate for this position. This isn’t an album, this is a country.

    And as far as the money issue. Let’s say Wyclef was completely ignorant of it, but someone was acting improperly. It was either him and his partner or just his partner with Wyclef looking like the dumbass who doesn’t check his accounting.

    Even though Pras is as relevant as Canibus these days, I agree with him in the fact that he’s voting for the viable candidate and not the damn celebrity. It’s one thing to be elected celebrity governor but entirely different when it comes to running a country.

  • Worldizmine

    He been made a song called if I were president he been planning this in his head.
    Glad I am not in this country rapper as president lord help them people!

  • gift

    I’m in total agreance with all comments thus far. Wycleff not being able to handle his own personal financial responsibilities throws up alot of red flags as far as being any country’s president. He may mean well, and care about the country, but I don’t think his priorities are in sync. When running a country, that is a mandatory thing needed to effectively solve the problems of a neighborhood, city, state, and country. PEace.

  • bggj

    i feel what yall sayin but this nigga aint gonna be no diffrent than any other politician especially politicians in haiti and i mean that coming from both viewpoints. so what that he doesnt know this and that about economies and shit, how many of our politicians are actually good at what they do. we had a major hollywood actor as president before (ronald reagan) and the fucking terminator runs the most populated state in the country. so while he may not be the most qualified candidate who gives a fuck, he’s just gonna be a face for the country while a group of 5 or 6 ppl sit behinds the scenes and really run shit much like a corporation with a ceo and his board of directors or the great USA. its all ran the same. snooki could be the president of the US and it would still be run the same. remeber Sarah Palin is basically a reality tv star and she was a nut hair away from becoming the Vice president

    • http://www.bboycult.com $yk

      “so while he may not be the most qualified candidate who gives a fuck, he’s just gonna be a face for the country while a group of 5 or 6 ppl sit behinds the scenes and really run shit much like a corporation with a ceo and his board of directors”

      ^ Clef would be overthrown in a heartbeat with this type of administrative structure.

  • http://www.,bboycult.com $yk

    “Right now, I worry that this is a campaign that is more about a vision of flying around the world, talking to people,” he said on Larry King Live. “It’s certainly not one of the youth drafting him. I would be quite sure that this is an influence of corporations here in the United States and private individuals…”

    ^ Sean Penn’s sounding like a better candidate right now.

    And again it pops up, the people don’t really f^X with Wyclef like that.

  • Sha

    Wyclef is not running for President Of The United States so I’m sure he doesn’t give a damn about what we think.

    But I said it before and I’ll say it again. He should rethink this.

    Do you think it is a coincidence that the info about his tax problems got released as soon as people knew he was seriously contemplating running?

    And Sean Penn holds the same position as most wealthy white men and the U.S. Government. They don’t want him to have it. Like it or not, the government still gets it’s jollies by crackin’ a whip on a nigga.

    Sean Penn says some shit about corporate people wanting Wyclef to have it. But it’s the opposite. They definitely don’t want that shit.

    Wyclef…. You seriously need to rethink this. This shit could get you some serious heat, or worse.

  • Anonymous

    Wyclef’s uncle is RAYMOND JOSEPH,
    The Haitian ambassador to the United States, who works for all your favorites douche bags like the Bushes, The Clintons, and Obamas, etc.

    Clef is just a front man who is sponsored by US corporations while his uncle tells him what to do.

    Also, John Forte was pardoned by George Bush right before he left office, which I thought was very strange.

    But f*ck all that. Where did all the money go Clef?

    “Running around with The Bob Marley Imposter” – LL Cool J

  • i’m at work and bored

    Wyclef’s uncle is Raymond Joseph, The Haitian ambassador to the United States, who works for all your favorites douche bags like the Bushes, The Clintons, and Obamas, etc.

    Clef is just a front man who is sponsored by US corporations while his uncle tells him what to do.

    Also, John Forte was pardoned by George Bush right before he left office, which I thought was very strange.

    But f*ck all that. Where did all the money go Clef?

    “Running around with The Bob Marley Imposter” – LL Cool J

  • http://XXLmag.com LeroyLove

    If Ronald Reagan can be president, and Ah’nold Swarzanigga can be govenor, then why not Clef for Hait’s presidency. Hopefully he has learned from his financial mistakes.I personally think his heart is where it needs to be for a good president. Finally one that really cares about the people.

    And who is Sean Penn to question a man’s desire to help his own people? Sleeping outside in tents don’t make you a hero. Not when you have the resources to build a thousand homes.

  • Q461

    I wonder if Pras not showing support for Clef is the final nail in the coffin for a possible Fugees reunion lol

    Not for nothin, Wyclef has zero political expierence, a shady charity (wheres the money Wyclef???) AND he owes Uncle Sam about 2 milly in back taxes. The people of Haiti need a legitimate candidate for president, we are talking about the western hemisphere’s poorest nation who just went through a tremendous earthquake.This nigga couldnt even keep the Fugees together or manage Canibus. Sorry, Clef you gotta fall back on this one

  • tibob

    It’s funny how Pras endorses Michel instead of Clef, For those who don’t know: Michel Martelly is one of the godfathers of haitian music. I don’t see the difference between Clef and Michel. If Clef isn’t qualified, michel isn’t neither. simple as that.

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