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Hip-hop star 'not in Haiti race'
Electoral source says Wyclef Jean not listed in the country's presidential election race.
Last Modified: 20 Aug 2010 04:57 GMT
Lawyers for Wyclef Jean, right, argue the star has maintained a "constant presence" in Haiti [Reuters]

Wyclef Jean, the Haiti-born international hip-hop artist, has not made it onto the list of approved candidates for the country's presidential election in November, according to a media report citing a member of the electoral council as its source.

"He is not on the list as I speak," the electoral official, who asked not to be identified, told Reuters news agency on Thursday.

The presidential bid by Wyclef Jean, 40, has sparked widespread enthusiasm in earthquake-ravaged Haiti, but it has been challenged on the grounds he did not fully meet the requirements, including a key one on Haitian residency.

Haitians will go to the polls on November 28 to elect a successor to Rene Preval, who is legally barred from running for office again.

Al Jazeera's Sebastian Walker, reporting from Port-au-Prince, the capital, said there have been rumours about who is and is not on the candidates' list but an official announcement on the full list is only expected on Friday.

"A member of the electoral council had told other reporters earlier this week that Jean is not on the list and that he is one of several candidates who is facing appeal against the legitimacy of their candidacy," our correspondent said.

"But after Tuesday's marathon session the council postponed the decision until Friday, so it is still too early to say who will be on the final list."

Electoral requirements

Jean, who left Haiti with his family to live in New York when he was nine 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.

The singer-songwriter and his lawyers argue that he fulfilled the residency requirement to be a candidate, citing his Haitian passport, his rural family home at Lassere outside Port-au-Prince and his share in local commercial TV station Telemax.

They say Jean has maintained a "constant presence" in Haiti since 2005, while arguing his appointment in 2007 as a roving "ambassador-at-large" for Haiti involved some inevitable absences from the country.

Other candidates facing legal challenges include Jacques Edouard Alexis, former two-time prime minister, Leslie Voltaire, a US-educated urban planner and former minister, and Yvon Neptune, another former prime minister who served under Jean-Bertrand Aristide, the former president.

UN and Haitian police have stepped up joint patrols in the still rubble-strewn streets of the capital, including around the electoral council headquarters in the capital.

About 1.5 million homeless quake survivors are living under tents and tarpaulins in the streets of the hilly, ramshackle coastal city.

Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
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