(17 Feb 2011)
++AUDIO QUALITY AS INCOMING++
1. Wide of presidential candidate Michel Martelly and Wyclef Jean walking into the media conference room
2. SOUNDBITE: (Creole/English) Wyclef Jean, musician: (recounting his first meeting with Martelly)
Creole: "As soon as we saw him we said; 'excellency, we love your music, we listened to it at university' (sings a tune)
English: We love you man. Micky you're the greatest, Micky you're the greatest."
3. Close-up of microphones in front Jean's hands
4. Close-up of Martelly's clasped hands
5. SOUNDBITE: (English) Wyclef Jean, musician:
"I want the international community to understand. My name is Wyclef Jean and today I am in my country of Haiti and I am endorsing the next president of Haiti: my good friend, but beyond a friend, a leader to the nation of Haiti, Michel Martelly. I want to thank you." ++CAMERA ZOOMS OUT AS JEAN AND MARTELLY STAND UP AND SHAKE HANDS; UPSOUND: APPLAUSE++
6. Mid of Jean and Martelly
7. Wide of Wyclef and Martelly surrounded by journalists
Hip-hop musician Wyclef Jean on Wednesday endorsed the candidacy of popular carnival singer Michel "sweet Micky" Martelly in his bid to become the next president of Haiti.
Jean, an ex-Fugees hip hop front man, whose own presidential campaign was rejected by election officials last year, said he decided to endorse Martelly because he's technologically savvy and has a charismatic personality that will "help raise money with the donors".
"I am endorsing the next president of Haiti: my good friend, but beyond a friend, a leader to the nation of Haiti, Michel Martelly," Jean said on Wednesday at a hotel in Port-au-Prince.
Martelly, the number two finisher in November's presidential election, faces top vote-getter Mirlande Manigat, a 70-year-old former first lady, in a 20 March runoff critical to Haiti's post-earthquake reconstruction.
Martelly flanked Jean during his endorsement and afterward thanked the Grammy Award winner, whose Yele Haiti charity has helped make him an influential figure in the poor Caribbean country of his birth.
Born on the outskirts of Haiti's capital, Jean grew up in New York and lives in New Jersey.
Jean said he plans to campaign with Martelly on and off during the next month.
He said he would not seek a government position in a Martelly administration.
Martelly last year secured the endorsement of Jean's former Fugees bandmate Pras Michel during Jean's own candidacy to become successor to outgoing President Rene Preval.
Official campaigning for the runoff election, originally slated for January, is set to begin on Thursday.
The final vote count - the naming of Haiti's next president - is scheduled to take place on 16 April.
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