Days after Haiti’s provincial election council (CEP) denied Wyclef Jean’s bid to run for president—due to the fact that he didn’t live in the country for the last five years, as required—the New Jersey-bred artist pledged to appeal their judgment. It seems like his plea will fall on deaf ears, though, as a lawyer for the CEP told Reuters that the ruling was final.
An official in the CEP’s legal department made it clear that Wyclef’s has no chance of running for president this year. “There is absolutely no possibility for Wyclef Jean to be added to the list of candidates approved to run in the next presidential elections,” Samuel Pierre told Reuters. “So it’s over.”
Earlier today Clef took to his Twitter account to drop his new song, “Pou Kepa,” sang in creole, to protest the CEP. [Listen here]
In related news, Sean Penn, who has spoken out against Clef’s political ambitions before, recently wrote an anti-Wyclef story for The Huffington Post. In the article the actor and activist called out Jean for his role in the country after the tragic earthquake.
“I was there for those six months after the earthquake and so many of us on the ground wondered where (Jean) was when that kind of attention was so necessary and absent, and why he was NOT helping to keep this desperate situation in the news,” Penn wrote. “None among us felt or expressed anger toward it, but rather a universal sadness for his silence, as he is America’s most admired cultural link to Haiti. As the six-month anniversary approached, it triggered the return of the world media, and of Wyclef Jean to Haiti. He’d referred to himself as “His Excellency Wyclef Jean” and “The most famous man in Haiti” on a self-generated flier in the lead up to his troubling announcement.”
Clef responded to Penn’s claims via his spokeswoman, Marian Salzman. “Wyclef was disappointed Sean Penn focused on the minutiae, and name calling, versus the real frightening challenges of Haiti.”
“The whole world should turn its attention to ensuring there are fair elections and human rights for all in a Haiti that is open for business,” she continued. “He and Sean Penn may disagree about many things but they share a respect for Haiti and its people, and a desire for the country to become a better safer place for one and all.” —Elan Mancini