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Haiti candidates list today


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Haiti candidates list today

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PORT-AU-PRINCE – Haiti’s electoral board will today announce a final list of presidential candidates.The council had initially pledged to release the list by last Tuesday ahead of the November 28 elections for a successor to President Rene Preval, as Haiti struggles to recover from a devastating January 12 earthquake.Several of the candidates including Grammy-winning hip-hop star Wyclef Jean have had their presidential eligibility requirements questioned at the electoral body.Jean is one of 34 Haitians who have lined up to run for the presidency, a measure of the office’s powerful allure despite the widespread misery and seemingly insurmountable problems worsened by a January 12 earthquake that levelled the capital.The vote will be the first since the earthquake, which killed at least 250 000 people and left 1.5 million without homes. The winner will replace Preval, who is prohibited from seeking another term.The Grammy-winning former Fugees frontman has little experience in politics but casts his insurgent bid as a chance to save a country brought to its knees by poverty, mismanagement and the earthquake.But he faces challenges on whether he meets residency requirements after having lived in the United States for years, and about taxes he owes there.Actor Sean Penn, who runs a tent camp for the homeless in Haiti, and others have accused Jean of misusing hundreds of thousands of dollars he raised after the earthquake for a charity he ran.In a report Tuesday, the New York Times spotlighted a history of poor financial management at Jean’s Yele Haiti charity, including a 250 000-dollar payment it made to a television station that the singer and a cousin had recently acquired.In a statement, Jean acknowledged “missteps” at the charity before the earthquake but called claims that 250,000 dollars were misappropriated an “outright falsity” circulated by disgruntled former employees.His supporters have brushed aside the other concerns raised with the election council.“We have proved that Mr Jean had residency in Haiti where he is also a majority shareholder in a television station. The financial statements in the United States cannot be dealt with in Haiti,” said Joel Petit-Homme, one of Jean’s lawyers.Eight other candidates besides Jean face challenges on their qualifications to run for president.The vote is expected to cost some US$29 million, dollars, and will be financed by the international community. (AFP)

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