Wyclef song accuses Haiti president of blocking him

Thu Aug 26, 2010 5:50pm EDT
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By Joseph Guyler Delva

PORT-AU-PRINCE (Reuters) - Haitian hip-hop star and presidential hopeful Wyclef Jean turned to song on Thursday to accuse outgoing President Rene Preval of engineering his rejection as a candidate for Haiti's November election.

Local radio stations were broadcasting a song by Jean in Creole in which he called for the jailing of electoral officials who last week disqualified him and for the first time directly blamed Preval for being banned from the November 28 vote.

The 40-year-old Haitian-born, U.S.-based musical celebrity, who has an enthusiastic youth following in his poor homeland, is challenging the rejection of his candidacy and has denounced the electoral authorities as corrupt and politically motivated.

The dispute has raised fears of tensions that could disrupt the Caribbean nation's rebuilding after a massive January 12 earthquake that killed up to 300,000 people.

In his Creole composition entitled "Prizon Pou K.E.P.a" (Jail for the Provisional Electoral Council), a somber-voiced Jean sings that Preval "expelled me from the race."

"I know all the cards are in your hands ... I voted for you to be president in 2006, why today did you reject my candidacy?" the song says, addressing Preval, who cannot seek re-election after serving two terms as president.

"It's not Wyclef that you have expelled, it is the youth you have denied ... it's the population you have denied, its the peasants you have denied," Jean sings. He also posted the song on his Twitter page twitter.com/wyclef.

Preval had been informed about the song but did not immediately react, aides said.   Continued...