With all the disaster happening in Haiti this year, the most activism I’ve seen from a famous American would have to be Wyclef Jean.  It’s not a surprise that he would have such a link to Haiti, as he was born there and lived there until he moved to Brooklyn at the age of 9.

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Now Wyclef has announced that not only will he return to Haiti, but he intends to run for President of the island nation for the elections to be held in late November.

He confirmed his plans this morning on a Miami radio station:

For the 250,000 people who died in the earthquake, that’s the reason we ought to see a change in the system

He expounded on his reason for running in an interview with the Wall Street Journal:
Well, my whole country, my whole life since I was a kid, the country has had political turmoil. The reason why is that there’s never been one person who can unite all parties and get them to work together. And Haiti has a history of coup d’états. And after Jan. 12, I felt there would be a new beginning and the international would be more involved, America would be more involved, and I call myself more connected. I’m someone who can connect the parties together and basically be a leader for the youth for what they’ve been crying for for years. If you have a population that can’t read and write that’s been around 200 years and the majority of the population is a youth population, it’s basically modern slavery. And for me to just sit back, and if you’ve watched my career, I’ve been singing about this my entire life, not just the Haitian cause whether it’s Tibet or human rights, the idea is to not just shame but to turn it into policy and to really engage in another manner. I always say that Wyclef Jean is not running for the presidency of Haiti, I’m being drafted by the people of Haiti.
One of Wyclef’s main priorities in helping his homeland revolves around the street youth and the “Face to Face” movement which shares his goals.
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The legistics on how Wyclef becomes an official candidate might provide some hold-up, but as the Miami Herald reports, it shouldn’t prove to defeat his odds:

Jean now has until Saturday at midnight to file his paperwork with the national electoral office.

Like the other candidates, he must prove to a nine-member electoral council that he is eligible to run under Haitian law. Among the qualifications: He holds only Haitian citizenship, has lived in Haiti for five consecutive years and owns land in Haiti.

That could be tricky: Jean, born in a Port-au-Prince suburb, left the country when he was 9 and grew up in New York and New Jersey.

Jean’s ability to qualify will become known in the coming weeks. On Aug. 17, a nine-member electoral council is scheduled to publish a list of eligiblecandidates.

Readers who want to know more can look forward to an interview on tonight’s “Larry King Live”, on which Wyclef Jean is scheduled to be a guest.