Soon after the devastating earthquake struck Haiti in January this year, Jean went into high gear to raise awareness and funds to help restore the island that had seen over 1 million homeless and 300,000 dead.
Now the musical giant wants to do more than raising aid, he wants to oversee the re-construction and restoration process from the office of the president. He wants to become President Wyclef Jean, of Haiti. His first hurdle is his own uncle, a former Haitian ambassador to the United States, Raymond Joseph.
Joseph said however that politics will not create divisions between uncle and nephew. “We are family and we won’t allow politics to divide (us), said Joseph.
Another obstacle some observers believe may confront Jean’s candidacy, has to do with his eligibility to run. Wyclef was born in Haiti but moved to the US at age 9. He said though he carries a US Green Card, he still maintains his Haitian passport as a full citizen of the Caribbean island.
The Haitian constitution however, states that a candidate for president must have lived in the island for five consecutive years before an election and must have always held Haitian citizenship.
Jean’s decision though should come as no real surprise because, in the past, he has hinted about his political ambitions.
Though sentiments are divided about his decision to run, Wyclef is said to be an instant favourite, especially amongst the youth. He is also well financed and with his international stardom and popularity in Haiti, he would be a very strong candidate.
Wyclef’s candidacy is being sponsored by the powerful coalition party, Ensemble Nous Faut, (We Must Do it Together), which was formed just over a year ago. The party is headed by Pierre Eric Jean-Jacques, former leader of the Chamber of Deputies, (the Lower House of Parliament).
The elections are scheduled for November 28th and Wyclef, who was appointed a Haitian ambassador-at-large in 2007, said that he hopes to officially kick off his campaign in the not too distant future.
Meanwhile, his uncle, Joseph resigned as the island’s ambassador to the US on August 1st, clearing the way for his run for president.