PORT-AU-PRINCE, HAITI, JAN. 14 -- A coalition of former candidates for president called today for a general strike to reinforce its planned boycott of Army-dominated elections Sunday.

The four ex-candidates withdrew after charging that the vote would be rigged by elections officials beholden to the military-led government.

Considered leading contenders in constitutionally mandated elections Nov. 29, the four said authorities had arrested dozens of people organizing the boycott and accused the government of preparing to use intimidation and force to bring out the vote.

The November vote was aborted after right-wing gunmen, aided in some cases by troops, attacked polling places and killed 34 voters. The three-man Governing Council then ousted the independent electoral board. When groups designated by the constitution to choose a new board refused to participate, the council selected one on its own.

In a press conference, three of the candidates said they discouraged violence during the weekend protest, but expressed fears that government efforts to force people to vote might lead to bloodshed. The group accused western governments, notably the Reagan administration, of doing too little to press the government here for fair elections.

The four ex-candidates are generally regarded as moderates on the Haitian political spectrum. They have criticized the government's appointment of the electoral board and rules that will permit officials to inspect completed ballots and will permit soldiers inside polling stations.

They charge that the three-man ruling council, which includes two top Army officers, is preparing to install a rightist candidate whom it will then be able to control.

Residents of Port-au-Prince and local radio stations also reported arrests of political activists in the provinces. These reports and the scheduled strike contributed to a mood of uncertainty and fear in the capital over what will happen Sunday. The uncertainty has been heightened by a pending Supreme Court decision on whether to permit eight former associates of the Duvalier family, which ruled Haiti from 1957 to 1986, to run as candidates.

The constitution, passed after the overthrow of that autocratic regime, barred such "Duvalierists" from holding office for 10 years. But the candidates excluded -- some of whom are widely accused of fomenting the attacks in the November vote -- have appealed that exclusion.

One of the four former candidates, Marc Bazin, a former World Bank official, said the strike Saturday and a "national day of disapproval" Sunday were meant "to show in an unequivocal manner the decision of the Haitian people not to participate in these charade elections." The candidates called on voters to stay away from the polls or, if they go, to cast blank ballots.

Another former candidate, the Rev. Sylvio Claude, accused the government of creating a "climate of terror and intimidation." He said local officials sympathetic to his party had told him of receiving orders to force people to vote.

The independent Radio Metropole, based in Port-au-Prince, carried reports that people organizing the boycott had been arrested in many towns, notably Jacmel, Jeremie and Cayes, on Haiti's southern peninsula. Travelers arriving from the south gave similar accounts, and Bazin said he had counted about 50 arrests himself.

The ex-candidates' coalition offered a mixed reaction to U.S. policy toward Haiti. Bazin agreed with political observers here and in Washington that the administration seems to be signaling a willingness to accept the outcome of Sunday's election.

But he also condemned arguments that the United States should consider some sort of military intervention here. A congressional task force on Haiti, led by Rep. Dante Fascell (D-Fla.) and District of Columbia Del. Walter E. Fauntroy (D), has called for such intervention. But Bazin said that would allow the government here to make false appeals to Haitian nationalism and distract attention from its conduct of the elections.

"Each time that {State Department spokesman Charles} Redman . . . says clearly that there is no question of intervention in Haiti, I think they are helping the Democrats here," Bazin said.

Bazin added, "I would like to hear a statement from President Reagan that he is not going to recognize this next government of Haiti. I don't want arms, no weapons, no Marines -- just one word from the president."

Daily life in Port-au-Prince appears normal, with only occasional patrols of soldiers. But nearly all Haitians interviewed on the streets over the past two days said they were worried about what would happen Sunday.

Residents said that, if the Supreme Court upholds the bar to the Duvalierist candidates, the gangs of gunmen who attacked polling places in November will strike again. The gunmen, called Ton-tons Macoutes, are the vestiges of a secretive militia organized by the Duvalier family.

This evening, Radio Metropole quoted judicial sources as saying that the Supreme Court is expected to announce its decision Friday on whether to permit the Duvalierist candidacies.