Wyclef Jean drops bid for Haiti presidency. Is 'Sweet Micky' the next best thing?
But other candidates with the potential to motivate young voters remain in the race. Haitian musician Michel ("Sweet Micky") Martelly, who was endorsed by Jean's former bandmate, Pras Michel, and is also gaining support among the political establishment, could spark continued interest among young Haitians.
In many ways, Mr. Martelly is a more promising candidate than Jean, says Professor Gamarra. He lives in Haiti, speaks fluent Creole, and is more adept at articulating his platform than Jean, he says. "I wouldn’t be surprised if Sweet Micky places well. It may mean he is given some significant presence in government," he says.
Jean, at this point, appears to be holding his own powerful endorsement close to his chest.
"At this point, he is, just like everybody else, trying to find out the positions of candidates," says his brother, Sam Jean. "Wyclef and Micky are friends and, like I said, I think Wyclef is looking forward to talking with all political candidates and seeing where they stand on issues."
Following the Jan. 12 Haiti earthquake that killed more than 200,000 people and displaced 2 million more, Jean’s nonprofit group, Yéle Haiti, raised an estimated $9 million for the relief efforts.
Capitalizing on that, Jean launched his presidential bid in early August, but was rejected Aug. 20 because he apparently failed to meet a residency requirement. Jean, who in 2005 was appointed Haiti's ambassador-at-large, owns homes in Port-au-Prince, Miami, and New Jersey, and frequently travels on music tours.