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Clinton: U.S. aid to Haiti shouldn't stop

Clinton: U.S. aid to Haiti shouldn't stop
People stand on the remains of a market in Port-au-Prince, Haiti on January 19, 2010, after a 7.0 magnitude earthquake caused severe damage on January 12. UPI/Anatoli Zhdanov | License Photo

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, Dec. 17 (UPI) -- Former U.S. President Bill Clinton says reconstruction in Haiti must continue despite the country's current political crisis.

Clinton made a one-day visit to Haiti Thursday amid some calls for direct U.S. aid to be halted until the country's political crisis is resolved, the BBC reported.

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Haiti's Nov. 28 election was widely denounced, causing violent protests and a political stalemate awaiting a run-off in January.

Asked in Port-au-Prince whether suspending aid was justified, Clinton replied: "In my opinion, nothing has yet happened which justifies that."

He understood the frustration of those who thought reconstruction was too slow, he said, but added, "I think they will see a big increase in the pace of movement next year."

Clinton said he supported plans by Haiti's electoral council to recount votes under international observation and hold a more transparent January runoff.

"I don't have a candidate -- my candidate is the reconstruction process," he said.

"I want the people to feel good about this and to trust the outcome so that we have peace and order and that encourages the donors to keep investing in Haiti's future."

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