Wyclef 'just not fit' to be Haitian president
CTV.ca News Staff
Published Friday, August 13, 2010 9:34AM EDT
A former Fugees member says ex-band mate Wyclef Jean is not fit to be president of Haiti, and is backing another musician for the job.
Speaking to CTV's Canada AM Friday, Pras Michel said Jean is a divisive figure "just not fit" for the presidency.
"We need a figure that can inspire all Haitians, not just Haitians in Haiti, but Haitians in North America, someone who can bring the masses together -- Wyclef doesn't have that ability," Michel said. "Wyclef himself is very divisive and right now, we need radical change in Haiti ... and Wyclef is not the guy to bring that change to Haiti."
Michel has endorsed Michel Martelly, another musician intending to run for president.
Martelly says his opponent lacks the qualifications for president.
"We need someone on the ground who understands the complexity of the situation," Maretelly told Canada AM. "In Haiti right now, we very much have a self-destructive mentality, we need someone who can come in and inspire the people . . . this makes a difference between what Wyclef can do and what I can do."
On Tuesday, Jean told Canada AM he had not spoken to Michel in 10 years and that his former band mate was entitled to his opinion.
Michel responded on Friday by saying Jean is "entering the realm of politics" and said they actually spoke several months ago, following January's devastating earthquake.
"I don't understand where the statement is coming from," he said.
Jean entered the race last week, filing papers in the capital Port-au-Prince as several hundred fans cheered along the earthquake-ravaged streets.
But Jean's presidential run has been beset by controversy. He has faced criticism that he mismanaged funds for his nonprofit organization, Yele Haiti.
He's denied reports that he owes the IRS $5.2 million in back taxes.
The election is set for Nov. 28, and the winner will manage billions of dollars in foreign aid flowing into the Caribbean country.
About 300,000 Haitians died in the Jan. 12 earthquake.