News24

Guinea's Conde to be sworn in

2010-12-21 07:41

Conakry - Guinean President-elect Alpha Conde will be sworn-in on Tuesday in Conakry in the presence of several African leaders, bringing the curtain down on 26 years of military rule in the west African nation.

At least eight African presidents are to attend the ceremony, according to a government source.

They are Senegal's Abdoulaye Wade, Mali's Amadou Toumani Toure, Burkina Faso's Blaise Compaore, Sierra Leone's Ernest Bai Koroma, Liberia's Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Gabon's Ali Bongo, Angola's Eduardo Dos Santos and Jacob Zuma of South Africa.

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, head of the Ecowas (Economic Community of West African states) will be represented by former president Olusegun Obasanjo, the source added.

The swearing-in ceremony is scheduled to begin at 11:00 GMT at the People's Palace, headquarters of the National Assembly which was dissolved after a 2008 coup.

The event will be broadcast live on radio and state television, according to the information ministry.

In Conakry preparations for the celebration were underway with squads of women sweeping the area around the People's Palace.

Alpha Conde, 72, from the Malinke ethnic group opposed all regimes since independence from France in 1958.

He won 52.5% of the votes against rival Cellou Dalein Diallo to become the first democratically elected president in the country which has known half a century of despotism and military rule.

Guinea's interim leader Sekouba Konate stepped down last week and urged the army to back Conde and remain apolitical.