Date set for Guinea's legislative polls

2012-03-02 11:22
Conakry - Legislative elections in Guinea, delayed for months due to disputes between the ruling party and the opposition, will now take place on July 8, the electoral commission announced on Thursday.

Louceni Camara, head of the national independent electoral commission (CENI), said the body would audit and revise the electoral lists which would be published in May.

Guinea was meant to go to the polls in late December, but the ballot was postponed to meet opposition demands for a role in planning the vote.

The opposition had complained it was not consulted when the December date was set and accused the regime of planning to hold sham polls with no safeguards against fraud.

Guinea's civil society organisation on Tuesday had called for consensus on a date for the elections.

"We demand now that CENI and the Guinean government organise as soon as possible legislative elections that are transparent, credible and accepted by all," said Aziz Diop, head of the group.

Earlier on Tuesday Sean Doyle, head of the European Union's west African division, warned that without democratic legislative elections, "the EU will not unblock aid to Guinea".

However, several opposition leaders said the July date for elections was "far-fetched".

"When CENI announces dates so far-fetched which do not take into account any conditions for a transparent election, they are driving the country into difficult times," Faya Millimono, head of the New Generation for the Republic (NGR), told AFP.

The last legislative elections were in June 2002 during the regime of president Lansana Conte, who ruled the west African nation for 24 years until his death in December 2008.

A transitional council has served as a parliament since 2010 during the transition from military to civilian rule. Alpha Conde was elected president in November 2010.

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