Wyclef Jean considers running for president of Haiti

Musician is reportedly considering a bid to become leader of land of his birth and childhood.

Wyclef Jean is considering running for president of Haiti in the country's November elections, the Associated Press reports.

The musician, who was born in Port-au-Prince but brought up in New York, has long been a prominent spokesperson for the country, especially since being appointed "ambassador-at-large" by the soon-to-retire president, René Préval, in 2007. In 2005, he set up Yéle Haiti, a foundation now focused on the relief effort following January's earthquake.

Jean has yet to make his precise intentions clear, but he has said that he will be involved in the November election, encouraging young people to vote.

A statement released by his family said:

Wyclef's commitment to his homeland and its youth is boundless, and he will remain its greatest supporter regardless of whether he is part of the government moving forward.

To be eligible to stand for the presidency, Jean would need to prove five consecutive years' residence in Haiti, own property in the country, and never have held citizenship of any other country.

Haitian elections have a history of low turnout, violence and intimidation. It's estimated that just 10 per cent of the population voted in the June 2009 senate elections.

Caroline Crampton is assistant editor of the New Statesman. She writes a weekly podcast column.

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