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Wyclef Jean Gives Up Campaign to Be President of Haiti

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Dennis Van Tine/Abaca

A month after officials in Haiti barred his candidacy on legal grounds, Wyclef Jean has officially ended his bid to become the next president of the Caribbean nation where he was born.

“After weeks of quiet but painstaking reflection with my wife and daughter, I have chosen to end my bid for the presidency of Haiti,” the musician, 40, said, according to a BBC report.

Jean had been told he didn’t meet the residency requirements for a presidential run, since he has lived in the U.S. for years. But he continued to appeal the decision, he said, to shine a light on the nation’s electoral process.

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“The appeal was meant to improve the electoral process for all, candidates and voters alike,” he says. “It is one way that I hope to bring light to the functioning of a government that is often ranked as one of the most corrupt on the planet, resulting in a country that is by most measures the poorest in the Western world.”

Jean plans to release an album next year called If I Were President: The Haitian Experience. “Some battles are best fought off the field, and that is where we take this now,” he now says.