Guinean opposition cancels protest in favour of dialogue

2015-05-10 07:27

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Conakry - The Guinean opposition on Saturday cancelled a protest set for next week, saying it wanted to give "frank and sincere dialogue" a chance following deadly unrest over an election timetable deemed too favourable to the regime.

The move came "after broad consultation with the other opposition leaders and to give a chance for consultation that will certainly lead to a frank and sincere dialogue between the opposition and the government", opposition leader Cellou Dalein Diallo told AFP.

The protest had been set for Monday after clashes between Guinean security forces in the capital Conakry on Thursday led Diallo to pull out of planned talks with President Alpha Conde.

The opposition are calling for local elections to be held before a presidential vote due in October in the poor west African country.

They believe Conde wants the calendar to remain unchanged because he wants to keep his cronies in local administrations, to help him rig the October vote.

The president denies the claims, arguing that local officials will not be involved in the vote.

Security forces surrounded the homes of opposition leaders before the clashes on Thursday in what Colonel Ansouma Camara of the Guinean police said was a move aimed at minimising violence in the former French colony.

Two weeks of violent confrontations in April left several people dead and dozens wounded in the country's largest towns and cities.

Last Monday, one person died and at least 20 were wounded as fresh clashes broke out in the capital.

Thursday's clashes hit several districts in the suburbs of Conakry, where many store owners closed their businesses for the day while the flow of traffic was blocked in some areas.

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