>Wyclef Jean’s Uncle as Haiti’s New Presidential Candidate?

>The Christian Science Monitor reported today that Ambassador Raymond Joseph (U.S. Ambassador to Haiti) uncle of Grammy-award winning artist, Wyclef Jean has plans to run for President of Haiti in this November’s elections. For those Haitians who would argue that Joseph is too-far removed from the country to represent the people he has a list of challenges for those who consider him an outsider, and would argue against his desire to push parliament to pass a law allowing dual nationality. The Monitor reported Joseph as saying

“I challenge them to speak Creole as good as I do.”                                                 

“I challenge them to look in my background and see all I’ve done for Haiti and compare me with others. See how all these years I have been working for my country even at a distance.

“I challenge them also to think about what the Haitian diaspora has done for the country. The Haitian diaspora has transferred $2 billion in remittances every year – that’s a quarter of GDP! Diaspora and Haitians at home are one in the same.”

It has been rumored that Ambassador Joseph’s famous nephew, Wyclef may join him on the November 28th ticket or even run against him, or as Joseph said, “parallel” to him. The Christian Science Monitor also reported on this story as well. 

Haitian Constitutional Requirements

Article 135 of the Constitution states that the president must be at least 35 years old; a native-born Haitian and have never renounced Haitian nationality; the owner in Haiti of at least one real property and have his habitual residence in the country; have been relieved of this responsibilities if he has been handling public funds; have resided in the country for five consecutive years before the election; and have never been sentenced to death, personal restraint, or penal servitude or lost of civil rights for a crime.
Wyclef meets five of the six constitutional requirements, but does he have what it takes to run a country? According to Haitians interviewed by Alice Speri a correspondent for the Monitor, although citizens of Haiti have a great appreciation for Wyclef as a musician, they doubt his ability to lead them effectively and efficiently- especially through the uphill battle of reforming such a corrupt nation. He has until next month to formally declare his intentions, so we’ll see soon enough whether we will read “Wyclef Jean for President”. 

Read the full article about Ambassador Joseph from the Christian Science Monitor here
Read the full article about Wyclef Jean

Copyright 2010. Natasha L. Foreman.