*Wyclef Jean said Tuesday he is in hiding in Haiti after receiving death threats amid the drama surrounding the country’s presidential election.
Haiti’s electoral commission said late Tuesday that it was postponing its ruling on who will be allowed to run for president in November elections, leaving Wyclef’s candidacy in limbo. A statement from the commission, known as the CEP, said it would postpone the announcement until Friday.
Wyclef disclosed the threats in a series of e-mails to The Associated Press, revealing few details. Jean said he received a phone call telling him to get out of Haiti and that he was in hiding in a secret location in the Caribbean country.
The Haitian-born Jean said he did not know whether the commission would approve his candidacy, but there have been questions about whether he meets the residency requirements to run.
“We await the CEP decision but the laws of the Haitian Constitution must be respected,” he said in one of a flurry of e-mails.
Later in the evening, Jean sent the AP a one-word e-mail: “Hope!”
The CEP’s decisions — or lack thereof — sparked small protests throughout Port-au-Prince. During one peaceful march near the CEP office Tuesday afternoon, several dozen young men marched and sang in the rain. Later in the evening, a main road in and out of the city was blocked by burning tires.
Haiti’s Constitution requires candidates to have lived in the country for the five consecutive years before the election. Jean knew his U.S. upbringing could be a roadblock to his candidacy, but has said his appointment as a roving ambassador by President Rene Preval in 2007 exempts him from the residency requirement.
Lawyers for the musician were at the CEP headquarters seeking to argue his case, he said.
More than 30 people had filed to run for president of a country still struggling to recover from the Jan. 12 earthquake, which destroyed thousands of buildings and killed an estimated 300,000 people. The candidacies of some 20 people were contested, the CEP announced; in order to properly decide on their eligibility, the group said it needed more time to investigate.