MUSICIAN AND ASPIRING Haitian president Wyclef Jean has been forced into hiding after reportedly receiving death threats relating to his presidential campaign.
The former Fugees member is in a secret location in Haiti, defying demands that he leave the country, but declined to reveal – in a series of emails to the AP news agency – who was behind the threats.
The rapper also said he did not know yet whether Haitian electoral authorities had authenticated his efforts to appear on the ballot for November’s presidential election, with a list of certified candidates being due for publication yesterday but delayed until later in the week.
“We await the CEP [presidential electoral commission] decision but the laws of the Haitian constitution must be respected,” he said, adding that his lawyers had visited the commission’s headquarters to argue his case.
The fact that Jean left Haiti, where he was born, to move to New York at age nine could scupper his ambition to lead the country as it attempts to rebuild after the damage caused by the horrific earthquake in January.
The country’s constitution requires candidates to have “habitual residence” in the country and to have lived in the country for five years prior to the election.
Jean has argued that his appointment as a ‘roving ambassador’ for the country by current president René Préval three years ago exempts him from the residency requirements.
The aspiring candidate will hope, however, that the words of his Fugees hit ‘Ready Or Not’ do not ring true as he remains in hiding.