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Wyclef Jean Files as Haitian Presidential Candidate

Wyclef Jean (file photo)

Wyclef Jean (file photo)

Haitian-born musician Wyclef Jean has officially registered as a candidate for Haiti's November presidential election, ending speculation about his political ambitions.

Jean arrived in the capital, Port-au-Prince, Thursday, where supporters greeted him as he filed his documents at the electoral council. The singer was accompanied by his wife and daughter as he submitted the paperwork.

Jean was also expected to discuss his campaign later Thursday on CNN's Larry King Live television program.

Jean was among the first celebrities to join aid efforts in Haiti following its devastating earthquake in January that killed an estimated 230,000 people and left more than 1 million homeless. He already had been providing aid to the impoverished Caribbean country through the Yele Haiti foundation that he established in 2005.

His foundation raised millions of dollars for Haiti following the earthquake. But the organization faced criticism for alleged financial irregularities following the quake and hired a new accounting firm after the allegations surfaced.

In an interview with Time magazine, Jean said the quake made him realize that Haiti cannot wait another 10 years for a new leader to bring it into the 21st century.

Jean said that if he cannot take five years out of his music career to serve his country as president, then the issues he sings about, such as equal rights, have no meaning.

The person who wins the election this November will succeed President René Preval. President Preval, who has been criticized over his efforts to rebuild Haiti following the earthquake, cannot seek re-election.

Haiti is the Western Hemisphere's poorest country.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.