Haiti hip-hop star Wyclef Jean is not on the list of approved candidates who satisfy legal requirements to run in the country’s Nov. 28 presidential election, an electoral official said on Thursday.
The presidential bid by the 40-year-old singer-songwriter and international celebrity had triggered widespread enthusiasm in his poor, earthquake-ravaged Caribbean homeland. But it had been challenged on the grounds he did not fully meet the requirements, including a key one on Haitian residency.
“He is not on the list as I speak,” the electoral official, a member of the country’s provisional electoral council who asked not to be identified, told Reuters.
He said the electoral disputes bureau entrusted with settling challenges to candidates had ruled that Jean did not meet several legal requirements, but he gave no more details.
The provisional electoral council was due to formally publish on Friday the full list of approved candidates to run in the election to choose a successor to President Rene Preval, who cannot seek re-election after two terms in office.
Jean, who left Haiti with his family to live in New York at the age of 9 and launched his music career in the United States, was among 34 contenders for the Haitian presidency who filed their documents with the council this month.
Contacted by Reuters, Jean declined to make any immediate comment, saying he had not been officially notified of any decision and would try to confirm the information.
Earlier, he met President Preval. A photo of them meeting, both smiling, was posted by Jean on his Twitter account.
On Tuesday, the provisional electoral council said it was postponing until Friday its announcement of the final list.