Wyclef Jean to run for president of Haiti

Rachel Rose Hartman
View photos

Hip-hop superstar Wyclef Jean confirmed to TIME magazine that he will be running for president of Haiti, a decision he said was fueled by the country's major earthquake in January and the resulting devastation.

"The quake drove home to me that Haiti can't wait another 10 years for us to bring it into the 21st century," Jean told TIME. "If I can't take five years out to serve my country as President," he argues, "then everything I've been singing about, like equal rights, doesn't mean anything."

Comparing himself to the biblical figure Moses, Jean says he'd "finished the journey from my basket in the bulrushes to standing in front of the burning bush" and was ready to "take the next step."

[Video: Wyclef Jean discusses Haiti

Jean, who is Haitian-American, plans to announce his bid before the Aug. 7 deadline.

Haiti's current president, René Préval, is not eligible to seek re-election in the Nov. 28 race.

Watch TIME's video interview with Jean here.

Jean posed for his first official "politician" shot for TIME — check it out:

View photos

(photo by Peter Hapak of TIME)


Other popular Yahoo! stories:
Photo: Futuristic bus drives above traffic jams
Obama celebrates birthday, showing his years
Country singer surprises as decade's most-played artist