US election 2020: Kanye West launches campaign for presidency

Kanye West has officially launched his campaign for the 2020 US presidential election, with an unorthodox rally in Charleston, South Carolina.

West, 43, is running as a candidate for his self-styled “Birthday Party”.

At the event, the rapper seemed to make policy decisions off-the-cuff and made several rants, including on abortion and on abolitionist Harriet Tubman.

Fans have questioned whether his last-minute bid for the White House is actually a promotional stunt.

The Charleston rally did little to clarify whether his run is genuine. But a now-deleted tweet sent from West’s account on Saturday, appearing to show the song list for a new album, added to the speculation.

The event, held at a wedding and conference hall in the city, was said to be open to registered guests only – but West’s campaign website had no function for people to register or RSVP.

West appeared with “2020” shaved into the back of his head and wearing a protective security vest, and addressed the gathered crowd without a microphone.

There were no audience microphones either, leading West to repeatedly tell the crowd to be silent so he could hear the questions being asked.

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