The rumors are true: Wyclef Jean is officially running for the Haitian presidency. The 40-year-old singer-turned-politician announced his bid earlier this week, after talk surfaced of his involvement in the upcoming elections.
The former Fugees member has been a staunch supporter of his native Haiti, acting as the spokesman for the country and aid organizer following the earthquake that destroyed residents’ homes and spirits on January 12. After numbers showed more than 200,000 people were killed and left homeless, Wyclef knew he had to get more involved.
“The suffering of the people of Haiti, the youth of Haiti—which is the majority of the population—can’t take another five years of the corruption that’s been going on for the past 200 years. This is why I’m running,” Jean tells PEOPLE magazine.
Some may take the “Gone Till November” hitmaker’s running as a joke, but he assures that he’s a qualified candidate for the position, having lived in Haiti for five years as well as owned property there. Even his Yéle Haiti organization, which he founded in 2005, was created with the hopes of changing the island’s negative landscape.
“Automatically, when people first see me they’re going to say, ‘Isn’t that the guy from the Fugees?'” says Jean. “But I’m hoping that next they’ll say, ‘OK. He knows what he’s talking about.'”