Latin America & Caribbean

Bill Clinton frustrated at pace of Haiti rebuilding

Bill Clinton, with the BBC's Matthew Price, sees reconstruction in progress in Haiti
Image caption Bill Clinton told the BBC's Matthew Price he was confident the speed of recovery would pick up

Former US President Bill Clinton says he is frustrated at the slow pace of reconstruction in Haiti, a year after the earthquake that killed more than 250,000 people.

But he said that after many delays the speed of recovery was now picking up.

Mr Clinton was speaking on a visit to Port-au-Prince in his capacity as UN envoy to Haiti.

The people of Haiti are holding two days of commemoration to mark the anniversary of the quake on 12 January.

"No one is more frustrated than I am that we haven't done more," Mr Clinton said as he visited a site where workers are crushing the rubble of destroyed buildings for use in concrete for rebuilding.

But after many delays, he told the BBC's Matthew Price he was confident that the speed of reconstruction would pick up.

"Even in the United States after Hurricane Andrew in Florida in 1992 we still had people in temporary housing a year after that," he said.

"This [earthquake] took out a third of the capital area and wrecked a lot of the streets.

"Yes it's slow. Nobody is more impatient than I am but I think you will see the pace pick up."

Political turmoil

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Media captionBill Clinton spoke to the BBC in Port-au-Prince

The earthquake anniversary commemorations come amid continued political uncertainty in Haiti following disputed presidential elections last November.

The vote was widely denounced as flawed, with reports of fraud and intimidation at polling stations, and violent protests broke out when the provisional results were announced in December.

The second round was due to take place on 16 January, but has been postponed until next month as there is still no agreement on which candidates will be taking part.

Provisional results put the former First Lady Mirlande Manigat in first place and the government party candidate Jude Celestin in second, just ahead of the pop star, Michel Martelly.

But Mr Martelly insists he won more votes than Mr Celestin and should be in the run-off.

An expert mission from the Organisation of American States, which was brought in to evaluate the result, is reported to have found in Mr Martelly's favour, but this has not been confirmed.

Outgoing President Rene Preval said on Monday that he had not yet seen the report.

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