Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Guinea Junta Leader Says He May Run in National Elections

CONAKRY August 24 Sapa-AFP


The head of Guinea's military junta has rejected calls that he
should not stand in next year's presidential election, saying
no-one can stop him from running if he wants to.

A coalition of Guinean opposition parties, unions and civic
groups on Sunday urged people to reject any move by Moussa Dadis
Camara to run in the elections scheduled for next January.

But in an interview with AFP on Sunday night, the
self-proclaimed president said that if the opposition wanted to
stop him from being a candidate "it is they who don't understand
anything about democracy."

"I have nothing more to say, except that I might or might not
stand. No one can stop me," he added.

On August 17 Camara, an army captain who took power on the death
of long-time president Lansana Conte last December, announced
presidential and legislative elections after growing pressure from
at home and abroad.

The presidential poll has been set for January 31, followed by
legislative elections on March 26.

But two days later he said the issue of whether he would run as
a candidate was "in the hands of God", having previously said that
neither he nor any members of the ruling junta would stand as

Former colonial power France has already said that no junta
members should be allowed to stand for office in the country of 10
million people.

After meeting in the capital Conakry Sunday, representatives
from the coalition opposed to Camara issued a joint statement
urging people to denounce "the confiscation of power".

The statement condemned the "monopolisation of the state media"
by the military junta and the use of public funds to promote
"through manipulation and propaganda" the candidacy of Camara.

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