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6731: Haiti's prime minister blames opposition for blasts (fwd)
From: nozier <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Haiti's prime minister blames opposition for blasts
January 21, 2001 Web posted at: 12:07 PM EST (1707 GMT)
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (Reuters) -- Haiti's prime minister has blamed the
opposition for street bombings last week that wounded two people, saying
it was trying to destabilize the Caribbean nation before next month's
inauguration of new President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. "After the
bombings in Petion-Ville and Port-au-Prince, I can say to the Haitian
people that the opposition party is responsible," Prime Minister Jacques
Edouard Alexis told reporters late on Saturday.
Alexis said that a suspect arrested in connection with the explosions
information implicating the opposition. Opposition figures were not
immediately available to comment on the accusation. Four pipe bombs
exploded on Friday, two downtown and two in the capital's outskirts,
local radio stations reported. Two people were taken to a hospital.
Just weeks away before Aristide's February 7 inauguration, tensions
have increased in the capital because of an opposition group's plan
to form an alternate government. The opposition, which
boycotted the November 26 presidential election because of tainted
elections held in May, say they have no intention of plotting a coup.
Haiti's government is accused of miscalculating the results of the May
and local elections to give Aristide an overwhelming majority of seats
Aristide, who won 92 percent of the vote in the November poll, became
first democratically elected leader a decade ago after he spearheaded a
grass-roots movement. The former Roman Catholic priest had his term cut
short when a military coup toppled him in 1991. A U.S.-led invasion
returned him to power three years later.
He succeeds his ally Rene Preval, who took over the presidency in 1996
Aristide's first term expired. Haiti's constitution barred him from a