Wyclef Jean

Courtesy of Diane Bondareff/PictureGroup via AP IMAGES

The Haitian people are going to have to find a new shiny symbol of hope to rally around.

The island nation's electoral council has determined that Wyclef Jean is ineligible to run for president of the troubled country.

No further explanation was given, although it seems as if it would have something to do with Jean's family moving to Brooklyn when he was a kid.

Though Jean expressed confidence that he would make the final list of eligible contenders as early as today, questions remained—especially ones pertaining to Haiti's requirement that presidential candidates maintain a residency in the country for at least five years.

"We want Clef, Clef is Haiti and Haiti is for Clef!" the 39-year-old rapper's supporters chanted Friday evening outside the council building in Port-au-Prince.

Council spokesman Richardson Dumesle said that 19 of the 34 people who originally submitted their names for the presidency made the cut.

Jean, who met with current Haitian President René Préval (who previously appointed Jean a goodwill ambassador for the country) yesterday afternoon, told reporters that he has been the target of death threats since announcing his candidacy earlier this month.

United Nations peacekeeping forces were summoned to the area to keep order, just in case.

"Though I disagree with the ruling, I respectfully accept the committee's final decision, and I urge my supporters to do the same," Jean wrote in response on the Huffington Post.

 "We must all honor the memories of those we've lost—whether in the earthquake, or at anytime—by responding peacefully and responsibly to this disappointment."

"I want to assure my countrymen," he continued, "that I will continue to work for Haiti's renewal; though the board has determined that I am not a resident of Haiti, home is where the heart is—and my heart has and will always be in Haiti...Rest assured, this isn't the end of my efforts to help improve my beloved country but only marks a new beginning."

(Originally published Aug. 20, 2010, at 7:53 p.m. PT)


Hollywood's brightest stars were out in force to help Haiti following the January earthquake.

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