Will Wyclef Jean Get to Run for Haiti President as One of 30 Candidates?
Today the Haitian elections board will decide whether Wyclef Jean is eligible to run for the country's presidency. There's a five consecutive year Haitian residency requirement for candidates, but Jean has said his roving ambassador stint by President Rene Preval in 2007 exempts him from the residency requirement.
While the Village Voice already listed five intelligent reasons why he shouldn't run, there are more than 30 people who've filed to run for president of Haiti.
As a result of the hoopla over Jean's candidacy, his charity, Yele Haiti, is now under extra scrutiny. The New York Times found out that the controversial $250,000 payment from Yele Haiti, Jean's charity, to Telemax, a television station Jean owned, "was paid to cover up the fact that Wyclef had already spent it--on a carnival float, 'a frilly blouse and gilded epaulettes' to wear while on it, and a lion, to pose next to."
According to the Village Voice, Yele says the money was used to buy airtime on the network dedicated to Yele "outreach efforts," which consisted of spots chronicling Clef's various adventures with Jolie, Akon, and Matt Damon. Former Yele Haiti director Sanjay Rawal alleges it's merely a way to cover up for the carnival expenses.
Yele is also beseiged by other allegations; residents of five different refugee camps in the country claim that Yele promised support that never materialized; the World Food Program have ceased to deal with the organization and the charity's PR firm quit without comment. Stay tuned.
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