Thursday, August 5, 2010 at 2:15 p.m.
We knew it was official; Wyclef Jean did tell Time Magazine he was running for president of Haiti after weeks of rumors yesterday. But a few minutes ago, the AP reported that Jean has filed the paperwork to run for president of Haiti at an electoral council office in Port-au-Prince.
Today, the New York Times report
ed that Jean also resigned from chairmanship of Yele, Haiti, the aid group he founded, "as he prepares to formally declare his candidacy for the Haitian presidency."
Despite allegations that Jean owes the U.S. government $2.1 million in back taxes, word on the street is that Jean will officially be making his announcement on Larry King Live tonight.
The former member of the Fugees is a Haitian native who was raised in Brooklyn. In the New York Times story, he is quoted as saying, ''I am not stepping down in my commitment to Haiti. On the contrary, regardless of what path I take next, one thing is certain: My focus on helping Haiti turn a new corner will only grow stronger.''
A Tweetpic of Jean, posted on his Twitter account
with this message: "Taking off on my way to Haiti me and my family About to make the biggest decision of our life."
Jean started Yele Haiti (named after one of his songs) five years ago to raise money and build awareness of problems in his homeland. The NYT story said it raised $9 million in the wake of the Jan. 12 earthquake that killed a government-estimated 300,000 people. Of that, it has spent $1.5 million on food, water, tents, clothes and other products for quake survivors.
In the Time.com interview, Jean said this year's earthquake "drove home to me that Haiti can't wait another 10 years for us to bring it into the 21st century," adding, "If I can't take five years out to serve my country as president then everything I've been singing about, like equal rights, doesn't mean anything."