It’s officially over. Singer Wyclef Jean announced yesterday that he’s ending his bid for Haiti’s presidency after a month-long battle with the country’s election officials who had ruled him ineligible to run.
“Some battles are best fought off the field, and that is where we take this now,” Jean said yesterday, according to CNN. “Our ultimate goal in continuing the appeal was to further the people’s opportunity to freely participate in a free and fair democratic process.”
Jean’s run for office brought international attention to November elections in the country, which is still recovering after January’s devastating earthquake. But the bid wasn’t without controversy. Politically, Jean was opposed to the country’s populist Lavalas movement, whose leader Jean-Bertrand Aristide remains exiled in South Africa after a 2004 coup de tat. Even Jean’s former Fugee bandmate Pras didn’t think the singer was a real leader. And as Ruxandra Guidi reported for ColorLines in a Dispatch from Haiti, many of the young Haitains Jean claimed as his followers don’t see the Brooklyn-raised singer as one of their own.
In the mean time, Jean’s next album, “If I Were President, the Haitian Experience,” is due out in February.