6 Aug 2010

Hip-hop singer seeks to be president of Haiti

9:52 pm on 6 August 2010

Haitian-born singer and songwriter Wyclef Jean has registered as a candidate for the presidency of the country.

The hip-hop artist filed the necessary paperwork at an electoral office in the capital Port-au-Prince.

Wyclef Jean, who left Haiti as a child and grew up in the United States, had earlier stepped down from the charitable foundation for Haitian children he set up, the BBC reports.

Jean says the earthquake which devastated Port-au-Prince earlier this year motivated him to stand for the presidency.

A review board will verify that his candidacy meets constitutional requirements, including having lived in Haiti for five consecutive years leading up to the election and never having held foreign citizenship.

The singer, who grew up in the US, holds a Haitian passport and has US residency. He says his appointment as a roving ambassador for the country in 2007 exempts him from the residency requirement.