Wyclef Jean Drops Out of Haiti's Presidential Race

Entertainment Sep. 21, 2010 AT 12:37PM
Wyclef Jean Drops Out of Haiti's Presidential Race Credit: Theo Wargo/WireImage.com

Wyclef Jean's name will not be on the ballots in Haiti's Presidential election this November.

The Haitian-born musician has officially withdrawn his candidacy for President of his native country, he announced in a statement Tuesday.

"This was not an easy conclusion to reach; but it is one that was thoughtfully made, taking into account many, many competing factors and weighing the course that will best advance the healing of the country and help it find the quickest path to recovery," Jean, 40 explained.

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Jean had announced his intent to run for President of the impoverished, earthquake-ravage island nation in early August, but Haiti's Provincial Electoral Council disqualified the singer; Haitian law demands that candidates reside in the country for at least five years, and Jean has lived in New Jersey with his wife and daughter during that time.

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The former Fugees bandmate briefly appealed this decision before officially withdrawing. He'll instead return full-time to music. His album If I Were President, the Haitian Experience will be released in February 2011, with a summertime tour.

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"Some battles are best fought off the field, and that is where we take this now," Jean said, adding that he doesn't regret his attempts to appeal the Council's decision. "It's not about my candidacy--this appeal was meant to address the shortcomings of the process for every Haitian. Though my run for the presidency was cut short, in this way, I feel it was not in vain; it's something we can use to improve conditions for my Haitian brothers and sisters."

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