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Opposition Leader: Delayed Guinean Elections Unlikely this Month

  • James Butty

Guinea's President Alpha Conde. (May 2012 file photo)

Guinea's President Alpha Conde. (May 2012 file photo)

A key opposition leader in Guinea has said it is unlikely that the country’s long-delayed parliamentary elections will take place on June 30th as planned by the country’s Independent National Elections Commission (CENI).

But, Sidya Toure of the Union of Republican Forces party said there has been significant progress on some of the key areas of disagreement during talks mediated by Ambassador Said Djinnit, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for West Africa.

Toure said it could be another month or two before the long-delayed parliamentary elections are held.

“We are in negotiations, and I think we have a new chronogram in the next two, three days. But, I think we have to postpone this one because nothing is ready on the ground, and we agreed that we have to discuss a new calendar for the election,” he said.

Toure said negotiations continue on a possible new date for the elections, perhaps within a month or two.

“We don’t have any date on mind. The only thing we have on our minds is to be sure that we go through all votes. But, I hope and I think it would be in two months,” Toure said.

He said there has been progress on some of the key areas of disagreement in talks between the government and the opposition mediated by Ambassador Said Djinnit, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for West Africa.

“One of the main points is the CENI, the electoral commission. We have an agreement on [allowing the] vote for Guineans living abroad. The third one is about the electoral list, but we didn’t finish that one because we have to negotiate a new date for reopening the electoral list for opposition electors,” he said.

The opposition had demanded that Waymark, the South African company charged with updating the voter register, be replaced because it would favor President Alpha Conde’s party.

Now, Toure said the opposition will accept Waymark, but with some conditions.

“One of those conditions is to put on the commission for reopening this electoral list and to register our electors in the same electoral list. We have another point to bring two engineers to make a control of the situation of [the] electoral list at this moment. And, if we have all those points taken into consideration, we will accept to go with Waymark,” Toure said.

The opposition had described the National Electoral Commission as a political entity that answers to the government.

But, Toure said the opposition has decided to go with the current electoral commission but with the addition of a committee, headed by a judge that would watch over the electoral commission.
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