Haiti Government Delays Call on Wyclef Candidacy

Singer says he is receiving death threats as he awaits Friday decision

August 18, 2010 11:19 AM ET

A decision by Haiti's election commission on whether Wyclef Jean is eligible to pursue the Haitian presidency has been postponed until this Friday, CNN reports. It was initially scheduled for last night. Meanwhile, Jean says he's been receiving death threats since announcing his run on August 5th: "We have been getting threats telling me if I know what's good for me, I would get out [of] the country." The AP reports that Wyclef has gone into hiding at an undisclosed location in Haiti while he waits out the election commission's decision.

Video: Wyclef Jean details his run for President of Haiti.

Under the Haitian constitution, a person must live in Haiti for five consecutive years before becoming a presidential candidate. Jean's lawyer Berto Dorce says that even though Wyclef hasn't resided in Haiti, the singer has been paying taxes there. "His candidacy has been contested and we went to court and proved that he is legally entitled to run for president," Dorce said. "Jean's position is pretty strong. He should be on the list." Dorce also added that Wyclef received a certificate of residence from the Justice of the Peace for his stake in a Haitian TV corporation.

Yesterday, Jean's former Fugees band mate Pras further explained to Vulture why he's endorsing presidential candidate Michel Martelly instead of Wyclef. "[Wyclef's] not the one that's able to unite the whole country," Pras said. "Wyclef likes to talk about the youth. The youth doesn't mean much in the sense of government. You know how the youth are; the minute the next iPod comes out, iPod 6, they're focusing on that." Pras also questioned Wyclef's ability to communicate with his own countrymen. "The guy who wants to be the leader of that country, his approach dictates the tone to the rest of the country. Wyclef, he doesn't speak the language of the country!" Pras said. "He doesn't speak French at all, and his Creole is similar to Jackie Chan's English ˜ no disrespect to Jackie Chan. How are you gonna be an effective leader, how are you gonna be inspiring the youth, if you're telling them to forget French, forget Creole, speak English?"

For much more on Wyclef and his run for president of Haiti, check out our interview with Jean in the new issue of Rolling Stone .

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

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