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Wyclef Jean Officially Backs out of Haitian Presidental Race

Musician Wyclef Jean To Announce Run For Presidency In Haiti
Musician Wyclef Jean (C), his wife Marie Claudinette Jean (L) walk through a crowd of supporters before he submitted paperwork to run for president of Haiti August 5, 2010 in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Jean has announced that he will run for president of his native Haiti in the upcoming November presidential elections despite being a naturalized U.S. citizen. (Getty Images)more pics »Wyclef Jean (Getty Images)Wyclef Jean has officially withdrawn his name from the presidential campaign of his native country of Haiti.

"After weeks of quiet but painstaking reflection with my wife and daughter, I have chosen to end my bid for the presidency of Haiti. This was not an easy conclusion to reach; but it is one that was thoughtfully made, taking into account many, many competing factors and weighing the course that will best advance the healing of the country and help it find the quickest path to recovery," said the 40-year-old pop star in a statement released to the press.

"Some battles are best fought off the field, and that is where we take this now," continued Jean. "It's not about my candidacy -- this appeal was meant to address the shortcomings of the process for every Haitian. Though my run for the presidency was cut short, in this way, I feel it was not in vain; it's something we can use to improve conditions for my Haitian brothers and sisters."

Jean's presidential campaign was effectively ended when the Haitian Electoral Council disqualified the "If I Were President" singer. According to Haitian law, candidates must have lived in the country for the previous five years, making Jean -- who lives primarily in New Jersey with his wife and young daughter -- inelligible.

Jean also faced sharp criticism from actor Sean Penn, who has spent much of the 2010 doing charity work in Haiti. "I haven't seen or heard anything of him in these last six months that I've been in Haiti," said Penn earlier this year.

Jean responded by changing the lyrics of one of his songs during a concert, singing: “I got a message for Sean Penn: Maybe he ain’t see me in Haiti because he was too busy sniffing cocaine."

Jean's new album, If I Were President, the Haitian Experience, will be released in February of 2011, followed by a planned international tour.

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