Hip-hop star Wyclef Jean has been told to put his political plans on hold - Haitian lawmakers have ruled he's ineligible to run for presidential office, according to reports.
The former Fugees star went into hiding earlier this week after receiving death threats following his decision to campaign to become his native Haiti's next President, replacing friend Rene Preval. The defiant star insisted he would still make sure his name was on the ballot in November if electoral officials gave him the green light to run for office, but they have dashed his hopes by ruling Jean fails to meet the criteria.
Candidates must have lived in Haiti for at least five years before becoming eligible for the top political office. Jean was born in Haiti but he moved to the U.S. when he was nine and his primary residence is in New Jersey.
On Thursday night's Larry King Live TV show, the singer/songwriter told the newsman he would concentrate on his charity efforts to improve Haiti following January's earthquake, which left the nation devastated, if he is turned down as a presidential candidate.
He said, "If I'm turned down... what we will do is, we have the movement for the youth, which is called Fas a Fas and the political party, which is called Vive a Sum, living together. We will continue to fight in the sense of how can we work with the new government, the administration... to give kids (a good education), which is one of the number one things in the constitution, the Haitian constitution, (that) says all kids should have privilege to a free education. And that's something that we're going to push on, whether I make it or not."
One person who will be relieved by the news is Wyclef's uncle, Raymond Joseph. The publisher, who was the first person to translate the New Testament into Creole, is a candidate for the presidency.