Haiti Has Birther Issues Too

May 13, 2011  |  

(Time) — Does Haitian President-elect Michel Martelly, who is set to be inaugurated on Saturday, May 14, have his own “birthers” to contend with? In recent weeks the former Carnival singer, who won Haiti’s runoff election on March 20 by a landslide, has felt compelled to answer rumors that he has U.S. citizenship – which would effectively make him ineligible to be Haiti’s President. In recent days a bogus U.S. passport has even surfaced on the Internet that purports to be Martelly’s.  The Haitian-born Martelly, 50, has flatly denied the claims and says the speculation is part of a plot reminiscent of U.S. “birthers,” who oppose President Obama and stubbornly question whether he was actually born on American soil. “It’s a conspiracy organized by people who can’t believe Michel Martelly is [going to be] the country’s President,” Martelly, aka “Sweet Micky,” told a Port-au-Prince radio station. “I’m Haitian, I never renounced my citizenship, my passport is Haitian.” Under the Haitian Constitution, which prohibits dual citizenship, any Haitian who has a foreign passport automatically renounces Haitian citizenship and is therefore barred from the presidency.

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