PORT-AU-PRINCE, HAITI -- The military-led government, apparently trying to offset criticism that it was accepting followers of exiled dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier as candidates for the Jan. 17 elections, excluded all but one of the so-called Duvalierists.

The announcement came in a two-minute radio broadcast during which a spokesman for the military-picked Provisional Electoral Commission listed the 11 accepted candidates.

Eight of the 11 candidates dropped had served in the Duvalier regime, and some were said to have close ties with Duvalier's security police, the Ton-Tons Macoute.

Many Haitians feared new street violence by Duvalier supporters because of the move, and within minutes of the announcement, troops began checking vehicles in the capital at gunpoint.

A previous attempt at holding the election, ended in a massacre on Nov. 29 when remnants of the Ton-Tons Macoute opened fire on voters.

In Ottawa, meanwhile, Canada confirmed that it had ordered three warships loaded with infantry troops to go to Haiti but said it is "mere coincidence" that they will be there during the elections.

An official said the " warships were ordered to the area for naval exercises held annually with French and U.S. vessels in the Caribbean.

About 2,200 Canadians live in Haiti.