Guinea opposition may agree to election

2013-06-10 20:57
<a href=\\\\>Shutterstock</a>


Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Guinea - After weeks of violent clashes, Guinea's ruling party and opposition succeeded in drafting a framework which might allow the country to move forward with much-delayed legislative elections, according to the international mediator brought in to help bridge the chasm between the two sides.

Said Djinnit, the special representative of the United Nations Secretary-General, explained on Sunday that the opposition has agreed to rescind their boycott and will take part in the poll so long as 10 conditions are met. In return, the ruling party has agreed to delay the June date for the ballot.

They have also agreed to allow Guineans living overseas to vote, a concession to the opposition since most expatriates have historically voted in favour of the opposition.

"The two sides were able to make significant advances," Djinnit said on Sunday. "Before the dialogue started, consultations were carried out which involved everyone in order to create an unconditional dialogue, without any taboos," he said.

Among the 10 conditions that the opposition has asked for is that the families of those who died in recent protests be compensated, and that an investigation is carried out into their deaths.

Dozens of people, nearly all of them opposition supporters, have died in the violent demonstrations which have engulfed Guinea's seaside capital in recent months over the vote.

Other conditions include that the country's territorial administration remain neutral during the vote and that the government re-opens the electoral list for possible revisions. They are also asking that two independent experts be allowed to review the electoral list.

Guinea has spent nearly all of its 55 years since independence under strongman rule. Following the near-assassination of its last military leader in 2009, the country finally transitioned to civilian rule, holding its first democratic election ever in the fall of 2010.

While deemed mostly transparent, the election tore the country apart along ethnic lines, after the vote came down to a Peul and a Malinke candidate, the nation's two largest ethnic groups, each accounting for between 30% and 40% of the population, according to experts.

Malinke politician Alpha Conde won the vote, and is accused of stacking the government with his ethnic kin.

The legislative election was due to be held soon after the 2010 presidential ballot, but it has been held-up ever since. The opposition is accusing Conde's party of trying to stack the electoral roll with citizens from areas of the country known to Malinke strongholds, while at the same time, instituting rules that would reduce votes from regions known to be predominantly Peul.

During the 2010 vote, expatriates voted overwhelmingly in favour of the Peul candidate and the opposition saw it as a political sleight-of-hand when the ruling party recently ruled that Guineans overseas would not be allowed to take part in the legislative vote.

It's one of several issues that the two sides were able to agree on following the weekend-long mediation session.

Saliou Bela Diallo, a spokesperson for the coalition allied with the ruling party, said that "[we] have accepted in principle that Guineans living overseas will be allowed to vote. We accepted this with the aim of restoring peace and in a spirit of compromise", he said.

Read more on:    guinea  |  west africa

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.