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Elections in Guinea Postponed Until Next Year


Guinea's electoral commission has postponed presidential elections scheduled for later this year until January of next year. Ruling junta leader Moussa Dadis Camara said he agrees with the commission's decision.

The West African country's electoral commission said on Monday there will be two changes to Guinea's upcoming elections. Among the changes, both the presidential and legislative elections will be postponed until next year.

Albert Gomes, spokesman for the commission, said the presidential election, now scheduled for January 31, 2010, will be held before legislative elections. Originally, legislative elections were going to be held before the presidential rounds. The legislative elections are scheduled for March of next year.

After taking over in a bloodless coup following the death of longtime president Lansana Conte last December, ruling junta leader Moussa Dadis Camara had promised that elections would be held in the country this year. After the election commission announced the changes on Monday, Camara said he accepted the decision.

Camara assured citizens that elections will still be held in Guinea, and anyone who does not want elections can pack their bags and leave the country.

Political leaders in the country said it was too soon to give a reaction. Ibrahima Sylla, president of the New Generation for the Republic, said he and other political leaders will meet to discuss the change, before they announce their opinion.

Some Guinean citizens said they were happy with the announcement. Boubacar Kole Balde, a teacher in the capital Conakry, said this plan seems more realistic for the country.

Before Camara took over the country, Guinea was ruled by Lansana Conte for 24 years. Conte came to power after leading a coup following the death of then-president Ahmed Sékou Touré. Under Conte, Transparency International ranked Guinea the most corrupt country in the world in 2006. And the elections under Conte were often deemed unfair by the opposition and election observers.

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