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Wyclef Jean has officially withdrawn his candidacy for President of his native Haiti.  In a statement released on Tuesday, Wyclef said it was “not an easy conclusion to reach,” but said it was “one that was thoughtfully made.”  He added that he took into account “many, many competing factors” in arriving at his decision, while “weighing the course that will best advance the healing of the country and help it find the quickest path to recovery.” Jean, a former member of hip-hop group The Fugees, announced his plans to run for President of Haiti in early August.  The nation’s Provincial Electoral Council disqualified him shortly after, saying Wyclef did not meet the country’s minimum residency of five years required of presidential candidates. 

Jean appealed the Council’s decision.  He says now that the appeal was, quote, “meant to address the shortcomings of the process for every Haitian.”  He added, quote, “Though my run for presidency was cut short, in this way, I feel it was not in vain; it’s something we can use to improve conditions for my Haitian brothers and sisters.”  Jean plans to release a new album titled “If I Were President, the Haitian Experience” in February of 2011.