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Bombs Explode in Port-au-Prince

January 20, 2001

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) _ Four bombs exploded around the capital Friday, three weeks before the inauguration of President-elect Jean Bertrand Aristide.

Two of the explosives went off in downtown Port-au-Prince, Radio Kiskeya reported. One bomb destroyed a truck and seriously injured a man, Kiskeya said. There were no injuries in the second blast, also downtown.

A third bomb exploded in a suburban open-air market, while another went off near a public high school on the outskirts of the capital. One person was injured and one was arrested in connection with one of the attacks, witnesses said.

Just weeks away from Aristide’s Feb. 7 inauguration, tensions have been building in the capital where an alliance of opposition groups are planning to write a platform for a national unity government that would hold quick general elections.

All of Haiti’s main opposition parties boycotted the Nov. 26 presidential elections, claiming May local and legislative elections were rigged to give Aristide’s Lavalas Family party 80 percent of seats. Aristide won with nearly 92 percent of the vote over six little-known opponents.

In a December letter to President Clinton, Aristide offered to rectify the election results and include opposition figures in his government.

The opposition rejected the offers.

The impasse led to threats of violence from Aristide supporters who threatened to kill opposition members being considered for an alternative government.

Grouped in a 15-party alliance called Convergence, the opposition will hold a national convention next week. Delegates will select the members of an alternative government and write the guiding lines of its program.

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