World

‘Zombie Votes’ Causing Chaos For Haiti After America Spends Billions In Aid

Photo: REUTERS/Andres Martinez Casares - RTX2EWMQ

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JP Carroll National Security & Foreign Affairs Reporter

The small island nation of Haiti is in turmoil after a special commission recommended the country completely scrap its October presidential election results over “zombie votes.”

Commission President Pierre Francois Benoit blames the lack of clarity on October’s presidential election on “zombie votes,” because it is not clear who, if anyone, legitimately cast them.

“After digging into it, we started seeing a pattern where a lot of votes could not be traced to a voter or to a group of voters,” which led to his creative label for the alleged electoral fraud, Benoit told the Associated Press.

Haiti has been in political limbo since these October elections, which were plagued by irregularities. As a result of the marred first round of voting in October, opposition candidate Jude Celestin demanded electoral reforms in January, ahead of a run-off vote. A run-off vote has yet to be held.

The U.S. government, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), has given Haiti $3.1 billion in aid as of September 2014, since the devastating January 2010 earthquake. A total of $4 billion has been set aside by the U.S. government through USAID for helping out Haiti, which is currently led by interim President Jocelerme Privert.

“The holding of delayed parliamentary and local elections is important for Haiti’s democratic development and to advance progress made in reconstruction and development,” states the USAID’s webpage specifically for Haiti’s post-earthquake funding, “The United States advocates for timely free and fair elections in Haiti.”

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