Sunday, January 24, 2010

Guinea Leader Moves Quickly Toward National Elections

Guinea leader eyes elections


Conakry--Guinea’s interim junta leader General Sekouba Konate said last Friday that he wants to organise quickly free elections in the beleaguered West African state.

“We should move quickly, quickly, to organise these free and transparent elections,” General Sekouba Konate said in comments broadcast on national television and radio.

Konate met last Friday with the Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas) president Mohamed Ibn Chambas, African Union representative Ibrahima Fall and Said Djinnit, the special representative of UN chief Ban Ki-moon.

He said Guinea would need assistance to organise the elections, which should be held within six months under an accord reached last week to guide the military-ruled country out of a 13-month political and human rights crisis.

“We are counting on you and you can count on us,” said Konate.

Under the political transition deal an opposition politician, Jean-Marie Dore, was appointed as caretaker prime minister.

Djinnit said the junta was bound by the deal, signed in the Burkina Faso capital Ouagadougou, not to put up candidates in the elections.

“The general confirmed his determination to honour the Ouagadougou commitment to hand over power to democratically elected authorities at the end of the transition,” he said.

A military coup was launched within hours of the death of long-time dictator General Lansana Conte on December 23 2008.

A massacre of more than 150 opposition demonstrators during a rally in a Conakry stadium on September 28 plunged Guinea further into crisis.

Captain Moussa Dadis Camara, who launched the coup, has agreed to stay out of the country after being wounded in a December attack by an aide that forced him to seek medical treatment abroad.

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