Hip hop artist Wyclef Jean said he was in hiding Tuesday after receiving death threats as he and more than 30 other potential candidates for Haiti’s presidency waited to find out if they would be allowed to run in the November election.
The musician disclosed the threats in a series of e-mails to The Associated Press, revealing few details. Jean said he was told to get out of Haiti and that he was in hiding in a secret location in the Caribbean country.
The Haitian-born Jean said he did not know whether Haiti’s electoral commission, known as the CEP, would approve his candidacy but that there had been questions about whether he met the residency requirements to run.
“We await the CEP decision but the laws of the Haitian Constitution must be respected,” he said in one of a flurry of e-mails.
Haiti’s Constitution requires candidates to have lived in the country for the five consecutive years before the election. Jean knew his U.S. upbringing could be a roadblock to his candidacy, but has said his appointment as a roving ambassador by President Rene Preval in 2007 exempts him from the residency requirement.
Lawyers for the musician were at the CEP headquarters seeking to argue his case, he said.
More than 30 people had filed to run for president of a country still struggling to recover from the Jan. 12 earthquake, which destroyed thousands of buildings and killed an estimated 300,000 people.
The CEP had been expected to publish the list of candidates earlier Tuesday but spokesman Richardson Dumel said the eligibility requirements of a number of candidates were still under review.
Haiti’s president will preside over the spending of billions in foreign reconstruction aid in a country with a long history of political turmoil. Preval is not permitted to run for re-election