*A ruling by Haiti’s electoral council that disqualified Wyclef Jean from running for the presidency is final and cannot be appealed, a council lawyer said Tuesday.
The Haitian-born and U.S.-based singer-songwriter said on Sunday he had not given up on the presidential bid and would appeal against the council’s decision which rejected his candidacy for the Nov. 28 election.
Council officials said Jean, who left his homeland with his family at the age of 9 to live in the United States, did not meet residency requirements.
Jean initially accepted the ruling and asked supporters to do the same. He has since launched a barrage of accusations via Twitter, Facebook and statements to U.S. media against the council, calling it corrupt and politically motivated.
Samuel Pierre of the council’s legal department told Reuters that, under article 191 of Haiti’s electoral law, rulings by the election authority’s disputes tribunal are definitive and cannot be appealed.
“Therefore there is absolutely no possibility for Wyclef Jean to be added to the list of candidates approved to run in the next presidential elections,” Pierre said. “So it’s over.”
Jean was one of 15 candidates disqualified from running to succeed President Rene Preval, who cannot stand again after serving two terms. A total of 19 candidates — including two former prime ministers, a former minister and a former first lady — were approved to run in the presidential election.
Electoral officials said Jean failed to meet a requirement that presidential candidates maintain five consecutive years of residency in Haiti prior to running. The singer insists he presented documents to electoral authorities that demonstrate his five years of residency.
“I have spent half my life in Haiti going back and forth,” he told MSNBC in an interview on Tuesday.
“The electoral council is very corrupted,” he added, saying potential political rivals feared his presidential bid.
Jean has said some of the approved candidates failed to meet the residency requirement but were accepted nevertheless.
Pierre said the electoral council was aware some rejected candidates believed they could appeal against the rulings.
“This is a waste of time because, when it comes to electoral matters, the electoral council is the Supreme Court, meaning there is nowhere else to go,” he said.
Pierre said the council had not received any formal appeal from Jean or his lawyers, although they may have gone to another legal body.