Hip-hop superstar Wyclef Jean is set to announce plans to run for president of Haiti, sources say

Reply Wed 4 Aug, 2010 09:00 am
It's way past time Haiti had a government that is competent and not corrupt. I'm sure he could get all the help guidance he will need by experienced people who want to improve Haiti's conditions for the people. ---BBB

Wednesday, 08.04.10
Wyclef Jean to run for president of Haiti? Buzz growing
Hip-hop superstar Wyclef Jean is set to announce plans to run for president of Haiti, sources say.
Miami Herald

PORT-AU-PRINCE -- Speculation mounted Tuesday that Haitian singer Wyclef Jean will officially announce his candidacy Thursday for president of the Western Hemisphere's most embattled country.

CNN announced that Jean, who was born in Haiti but has lived much of his life in the United States, will appear Thursday night on Larry King Live to discuss his plans. The Associated Press quoted former legislator Pierre Eric Jean-Jacques as saying that the hip-hop superstar will run as part of Jean-Jacques' ``together we are strong'' coalition.

The reports are the latest to point toward a run for the former Fugees star. The Miami Herald reported Friday that Jean officially announced his intentions in a series of meetings, and that his lawyers were working on his paperwork.

``It's a huge decision,'' Jean told The Herald last week about the prospect of his running. ``The decision is not final.''

From the dining tables of Pétionville to the camps of Port-au-Prince, the candidacy of Jean has been the topic of intense discussion in recent weeks. Many wonder whether he is eligible to run, is qualified or merely trying to promote his new album.

Jean, 37, represents a departure from the status quo of the current government led by President René Préval.

``Wyclef has many people following him, and this could be a great opportunity for Haiti,'' said Kevin Luma, 19, a student. ``Maybe because he loves Haitians so much, he loves Haiti so much, things can change -- even if not 100 percent.''

For others, he draws comparisons to former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide -- but only so far. Aristide, a priest-turned-president ousted in 2004, enjoyed popular support but also fomented class hatred.

``I believe, like Aristide he will carry a groundswell because of his youth, because of his success, because of the hope he represents,'' said Georges Sassine, a Haitian businessman and president of the Haitian Industrialists Association. ``But unlike Aristide, this is a man who knows how things work, having lived in the United States. . . . Most important, I do not detect any envy or hatred from him and this is most encouraging.''

Jean's uncle, Haiti Ambassador to the U.S. Raymond Joseph, will also be a candidate. He reportedly sent his resignation to Préval early last week.

Jean and Joseph will be part of a crowded field as candidates begin to signal their intentions. The one-week filing period ends on Saturday. Sources say that Jean plans to register his candidacy on Thursday before his appearance on Larry King.

A nine-member electoral council will determine who is qualified to run under Haitian law. Jean would have to prove to the council's satisfaction that he has lived in Haiti for five consecutive years, that he holds only Haitian citizenship and that he owns land here.

In the last presidential election, in 2006, Haitian authorities blocked the candidacy of Texas millionaire Dumarsais Siméus, noting that the constitution bars a U.S. citizen from holding dual citizenship, which rendered him ineligible.

Whoever wins the Nov. 28 election will inherit one of the toughest jobs in the region. The country is barely recovering from the devastating Jan. 12 earthquake that claimed a government estimated 300,000 lives and left much of Port-au-Prince in ruin. More than a million people remain displaced, and much of the billions in aid promised by donors have still to arrive.

Jean has been one of the most recognizable voices calling on the international community to help Haitians. His Yéle Haiti Foundation has raised millions, some from text donations shortly after the earthquake. The charity has come under scrutiny over how it spends the funds donated to it on behalf of Haiti.

A recent attempt by Jean to reach out to the population by gathering 200 people and handing each $7 was criticized by some camp dwellers.

Jean, who has defended allegations against his grass-roots nongovernmental organization, said the money handed out to quake victims was a symbolic gesture to kick off his Yéle Corps rubble removal project that will begin employing 1,000 people at the end of this month.

Jean has also been criticized for his management of finances of the Yéle foundation. Reports surfaced in January that the foundation paid Jean to perform at fundraising events and that a station he owns sold the charity advertising. Jean acknowledged on Oprah and other shows that the foundation had been poorly run and he hired a new accounting firm.

In recent weeks, Jean has become more political in his work in Haiti, even penning a column for the Huffington Post and other publications to mark the six-month anniversary of the quake.

Herald staff and wire reports were used in this report.

Read more: http://www.miamiherald.com/2010/08/03/1760061/wyclef-jean-to-run-buzz-growing.html#ixzz0veJsEgLW
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Reply Wed 4 Aug, 2010 10:11 am
He's gonna run against his uncle? That part seems odd - I'd find it more appropriate that he supports his uncle run. In any case, I'd figure can't be any worse for the people.
Reply Wed 4 Aug, 2010 10:47 am
Linkat, Information about Wyclef Jean's uncle. He seems to have more expertise that his nephew, but they would make a good pair if his nephew was the vice president or some other position.---BBB

Biography of His Excellency Raymond Joseph, Ambassador to the United States

Raymond Alcide Joseph is mostly known as a journalist. When he was 19 years old he established the first print shop and founded "Reyon Limyè" (Rays of Light), the first monthly Christian newspaper in Cayes Haiti. "Rays of Light" still exists.

He went to become a radio personality in the 1960’s, having founded the first radio broadcast in New York beamed against the Duvalier dictatorship. "Radio Vonvon" or "Radio Bug" was nicknamed the "Six O’clock Mass" because it hit the waves at 6:00 a.m. and was the broadcast not to miss.

Mr. Joseph translated the first New Testament and Psalms in Haitian Creole under the auspices of the American Bible Society in October 1960.

In the 70’s and 80’s he was at the Wall Street Journal in New York as a financial writer and co-founded, with his brother Leo Joseph, the Haiti-Observateur, the first crusading commercial Haitian weekly. The Observateur remains the premier organ abroad of the Haitian community.

In 1990 Mr. Joseph was called to be Haiti’s Chargé d’Affaires in Washington and his country’s representative at the Organization of American States. After helping with the first democratic elections in December 1990, he returned to the Haiti Observateur where he remained until he was called back to Washington in March 2004, where he is currently the Ambassador.

Raymond Joseph is a graduate pastor from the Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, a B. A. holder in Anthropology from Wheaton College, Wheaton, Ill. He also has a Master’s degree in Social Anthropology/Linguistics from the University of Chicago.
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Reply Wed 4 Aug, 2010 10:58 am
Linkat wrote:

He's gonna run against his uncle? That part seems odd - I'd find it more appropriate that he supports his uncle run. In any case, I'd figure can't be any worse for the people.

Not really odd. It would give the family 2 candiates in the field.
failures art
Reply Wed 4 Aug, 2010 11:02 am
I'd say anything that get attention to the country shy of a natural disaster is good.

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Reply Wed 4 Aug, 2010 11:06 am
Yeah, but potentially take votes for them, making either one of them less likely to win. I figure that the uncle has a bit more experience in the political arena combined with the rap star's celebrity would be a great team.
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