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Wyclef Jean Formally Ends Haiti Presidential Bid

Singer Wyclef Jean waves to supporters Aug. 20, 2010, as he leaves a hotel while waiting to hear if he will be considered eligible to run for the Nov. 28 presidential election in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. The provisional electoral council in Haiti later left Jean off of the list of approved presidential candidates after finding that he did not meet legal requirements to run in the election. Getty Images

Nearly a month after failing to qualify as a candidate in Haiti's presidential election, hip-hop singer Wyclef Jean announced Tuesday that he officially withdrew his candidacy from the race.

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An elections panel ruled that Jean didn't qualify for the Nov. 28 election amid questions about whether the singer met the country's residency requirements. Presidential candidates in Haiti must by law have lived in the country for five consecutive years before the election.

However, the board didn't cite a specific reason for its decision.

Soon after the panel announced its decision Aug. 20, Jean said he would appeal to the courts to overturn the panel's ruling.

"They are trying to keep us out of the race," he said at the time in reference to Haiti's political class.

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Representatives for Jean released a statement Tuesday taking a different tone.

"After weeks of quiet but painstaking reflection with my wife and daughter, I have chosen to end my bid for the presidency of Haiti," Jean said in the statement. "This was not an easy conclusion to reach; but it is one that was thoughtfully made, taking into account many, many competing factors and weighing the course that will best advance the healing of the country and help it find the quickest path to recovery."

The singer said he would spend more time focusing on his music. Jean's new album, "If I Were President, the Haitian Experience," is expected to drop next February. He said he didn't have any regrets about his short-lived campaign.

"Though my run for the presidency was cut short, in this way, I feel it was not in vain," Jean said in the statement. "It's something we can use to improve conditions for my Haitian brothers and sisters."

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