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
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.
BY TRENTON DANIEL
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