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5920: Bomb blasts hit Haiti elections (fwd)

From: nozier@tradewind.net

Bomb blasts hit Haiti elections
By Canute James in Kingston, November 24 2000 05:07GMT

FINANCIAL TIMES.- Political parties in Haiti on Thursday traded charges
over responsibility for several bombs in Port-au-Prince, the capital,
over the past two days which killed two people  and injured several
others. The explosions are said by the police to be connected to
Sunday's presidential election. Spokesmen for the Lavalas Family party
of Jean-Bertrand Aristide, widely expected to be an easy
winner, accused opposition parties of being responsible for the
explosions,saying they were intended to deter voters.Opposition parties
are boycotting the election, and Mr Aristide is being challenged only by
a handful of largely unknown candidates.  "This is nonsense," countered
a spokesman for Convergence Democratique, a coalition of opposition
groups. "We have no interest in this farce of an election. The bombs are
a poor attempt by Lavalas to smear the democratic forces in the country.
Several businesses in Port-au-Prince remained closed on Thursday amid an
uneasy calm in the capital. This Caribbean state of 7.5m people, which
shares the island of Hispaniola with the Dominican Republic, has a
history of political violence. 
The prime minister claimed last month to have uncovered a plot to
overthrow the government. Nine police officers fled to the neighbouring
Dominican Republic after being implicated, and have since been granted
asylum in Ecuador. Mr Aristide's first term was interrupted seven months
after he took office in 1991,when he was overthrown and exiled by the
army. A US military invasion three years later toppled the junta and
restored him, but Haiti's constitution does not allow successive
presidential terms.