Wyclef Jean eyes bid for Haiti presidency

Family confirms news, but Nov. election run undecided

PORT-AU-PRINCE -- Haitian singer and songwriter Wyclef Jean is weighing a bid for the presidency of his earthquake-shattered Caribbean homeland but has not yet decided whether to run in November's election.

In a statement sent to the media on Tuesday, the family of the former Fugees star, who has served as ambassador-at-large under the current Haitian government, confirmed for the first time that he was considering putting his hip-hop infused music career on the backburner to run for Haiti's top job.

"Wyclef's commitment to his homeland and its youth is boundless, and he will remain its greatest supporter regardless of whether he is part of the government moving forward," the statement said.

"At this time, Wyclef Jean has not announced his intent to run for Haitian president. If and when a decision is made, media will be alerted immediately," it said without elaborating.

Candidates in the November 28 presidential and legislative elections have until August 7 to register.

Speculation about the rapper hopping into the ring of presidential contenders has grown since Haiti's devastating January 12 quake, which killed as many as 300,000 people and has left some 1.5 million survivors still living under tarpaulins and in temporary tent cities.

Haiti's outgoing government of President Rene Preval, who cannot seek re-election, has faced widespread criticism for being slow to aid victims of the devastating quake and in launching the huge task of rebuilding the country.

The country has been awash for years with rumors that Jean, who was born in Haiti but raised in New York, might consider running for president of the poorest country in the Americas.

He is wildly popular in Haiti where half of the population is under 21 years of age.

The singer and producer, best known recently for a string of collaborations with Colombian pop star Shakira, has long been active in raising money for his homeland through his Yele Haiti Foundation.