Haiti's prime minister blames opposition for blasts
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
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 disclosed
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
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 in the
Aristide, who won 92 percent of the vote in the November poll, became Haiti's
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 second
Copyright 2001 Reuters.