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Council Denies Wyclef Jean's Appeal in Haiti's Presidential Bid

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Things aren't going too well for Wyclef Jean.

The Haitian-American singer and rapper intended to appeal last week's ruling by Haiti's electoral council which declared him ineligible to run for president of Haiti. But Reuters reports that the board's decision is final and can not be appealed.

"Therefore, there is absolutely no possibility for Wyclef Jean to be added to the list of candidates approved to run in the next presidential elections," the attorney, Samuel Pierre, said. "So it's over."

The electoral council deemed Jean ineligible over the weekend because presidential candidates must have lived in Haiti for five consecutive years. Jean's presidential bid has met with strong media criticism, despite Jean's claims that his celebrity status would draw much-needed money towards the nation's reconstruction.

The Haitian presidency has also become the topic of a minor celebrity feud between Jean and actor Sean Penn, who has also been involved in post-earthquake relief efforts. In a Huffington Post editorial posted on Wednesday, Penn criticized Jean for being conspicuously absent in Haiti's post-earthquake refugee camps.

"No, he doesn't have to live in a tent," Penn writes. "But it would be nice if he visited once in a while."

At press time, Jean had not yet responded to Penn's editorial.

Jean was scheduled to be the headliner for a Haiti benefit concert that was part of the 2010 West Indian Day festivities, but he pulled out of the concert last-minute citing "current activities with respect to Haiti. In his place, Ky-mani Marley, one of the many reggae-slinging sons of Bob Marley, will perform, alongside modern dancehall-pop names Serani and Kevin Lyttle.

Updated 9/3

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