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Vote Registering Begins in Guinea


The task of registering voters is to begin again in Guinea, after a pledge by ruling military leader Moussa Dadis Camara to hold elections this year.

When Guinea's ruling military leader, Moussa Dadis Camara, appointed the country's new Supreme Court president last week, he took the opportunity to address rising international criticism of his administration's lack of progress in the election process. Voter registration was to recommence Monday.

Appointing the Supreme Court President, Yve William Aboly, is necessary to hold elections, because the courts must be in place before results can be verified.

Camara said it is the decision of the people of Guinea, not France, Germany or the United States, to hold elections this year. He questioned why the international community is accusing his party, the National Council for Democracy and Development, of not holding to its promise. He repeated that he plans to go ahead with the elections.

The National Council for Democracy and Development took over the West African country in a military coup last December, after the death of longtime president Lansana Conte. At first, the Council was praised for its dedication to fight drug trafficking and corruption.

At last week's appointment ceremony, Camara also repeated the court's role in continuing the fight against trafficking and crime.

He told the new president of the Supreme Court it is the justices' responsibility to judge the future of drug traffickers and criminals. And he added that they must stray from regionalism and tribalism when judging the cases, if they want to keep Guinea on a track toward progress.

Despite its declared fight against drug trafficking, the National Council for Democracy and Development has come under scrutiny recently for human-rights issues within the country. Human Rights Watch released a report last week that said it is concerned about arbitrary arrests, restrictions on political activity and a call for vigilante justice by the Council.

On Sunday, the military government put the army on high alert, because of it said armed men are gathering in Guinea-Bissau, Senegal and Liberia in an effort to topple the Guinea government. Officials in Liberia have denied the accusation.

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