Wyclef Jean to appeal Haiti electoral rejection

Sun Aug 22, 2010 3:03pm EDT
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PORT-AU-PRINCE (Reuters) - Musician Wyclef Jean plans to appeal his rejection as a candidate in Haiti's November presidential election, his spokeswoman said on Sunday.

Haiti's provisional electoral council, the CEP, ruled on Friday night that the singer-songwriter did not meet the requirement that presidential candidates maintain five consecutive years of residency in Haiti prior to running.

Jean told his spokeswoman, Marian Salzman, that he would appeal the ruling, Salzman said.

Jean also posted a message via Twitter saying, "Tomorrow our lawyers are appealing the decision of the CEP. We have met all the requirements set by the laws. And the law must be respected."

Jean left Haiti with his family to live in New York at age 9 and launched his music career in the United States. He had presented evidence that his lawyers said showed a "constant presence" in Haiti, which is struggling to recover from January's devastating earthquake.

A source close to Jean said he would argue that the council did not follow proper legal procedures in announcing its decision.

He was among 34 presidential candidates vying for a spot in the election to choose a successor to President Rene Preval, who cannot run again after two terms. The council approved 19 candidates and rejected 15.

(Reporting by Joseph Guyler Delva and Jane Sutton; Editing by Bill Trott)

<p>Haitian singer Wyclef Jean, a candidate for the next presidential election in Haiti, attends a news conference before his concert at the Antilliaanse Feesten music festival in Hoogstraten, August 13, 2010. REUTERS/Sebastien Pirlet</p>