Former Fugees star Wyclef Jean will end the recent speculation tonight when he appears on the Larry King Show to confirm that he will be running for the Haitian Presidency. The elections will run in November.
His devastation was clear when he saw the effects that the earthquake had on his hometown, which he left when he was nine years old, emigrating with his family to the United States. Wyclef, a goodwill ambassador for Haiti, is set to be interviewed by Wolf Blitze to make his run for candidacy official.
The elections were due to be held earlier this year but were delayed because of the earthquake. They will now go ahead on November 28.
The musician has long been an advocate for Haiti and has worked to help improve the conditions for the people that live there. He still retains Haitian citizenship.
Wyclef Jean has also made the decision to step down from his charity, Yele Haiti, which has raised $9 million dollars since this years earthquake. Yele Haiti also provided temporary accommodation for people in Port-au-Prince and has assisted with aid supplies. The charity was established in 2005.
Whoever wins the election will face a mammoth task. Just over six months on from the earthquake the devastation is all too evident with around 98% of the rubble from collapsed buildings yet to be moved.
The earthquake, which measured 7.3 on the Richter scale, hit Haiti on January 12. It is estimated 230,000 were killed and 200,000 injured. Port-au-Prince is now home to about 1191 settlements and aid workers from approximately 30 countries were sent to the area to help the aid effort.*
Following the earthquake Wyclef issued a statement which said:
“Haiti today faced a natural disaster of unprecedented proportion, an earthquake unlike anything the country has ever experienced. The magnitude 7.0 earthquake – and several very strong aftershocks – struck only 10 miles from Port-au-Prince. I cannot stress enough what a human disaster this is, and idle hands will only make this tragedy worse. The over 2 million people in Port-au-Prince tonight face catastrophe alone. We must act now. President Obama has already said that the U.S. stands ‘ready to assist’ the Haitian people. The U.S. Military is the only group trained and prepared to offer that assistance immediately. They must do so as soon as possible. The international community must also rise to the occasion and help the Haitian people in every way possible.”
*Figures provided to me by the British Red Cross.