The U.S.-based international foundation
for Electoral Systems (IFES) has called on Guinea's military leader Captain Moussa
Camara to organize free and fair elections.
IFES Regional Director for Africa
Almami Cyllah said in a statement last week that this would signal a positive
beginning for Guinea to embark on the road to democracy.
Over the weekend
reports quoted junta leaders as rejecting a U.S. Embassy call for the military junta
to stay out of next year's presidential elections.
Elizabeth Cote, IFES
Country Director for Guinea, said the international concern now is whether junta leader Moussa Camara would
present himself as a candidate in next year's elections.
think that the elections will take place in 2010. But I think that the big
question is whether President Dadis Camara will present himself as a candidate
or not. That's basically what…the international community and of course the
most recent declaration from the United States, that's basically what people
are worrying about," she said.
a statement last week, the U.S. Embassy in Guinea reportedly said the
participation of any of the country's military leaders in the 2010 elections
would undermine the transparency and credibility of those elections.
foreign ministry Sunday rejected the U.S. criticism. The ruling National
Council for Democracy and Development (CNDD) said in a statement that Guineans
must be left alone to freely choose their own leaders.
said junta leader Camara is sensitive to the mounting international pressure
for him not to participate in next year's elections.
way his psychology works, the president doesn't like to be pushed into saying
whether he's going to present himself or not," Cote said.
were reports supporters of junta leader Captain Camara held a rally over the
weekend calling on him to take off his military uniform and stand as a presidential
downplayed the seriousness of the group which organized the reported weekend
rally in support Camara.
Lansana Kouyate last year was prime minister of Guinea, this same individual
leader was leading a group for Lansana Kouyate for change. So you see it's a little
bit of these machines that are already formatted and all they need to do is to
be oriented toward such and such a leader, and they seem to do what they are
told," Cote said.
said it was difficult to form a vibrant opposition in Guinea because of
divisions among opposition political parties and civil society groups.
is a lot of division within civil society; there is a lot of division in the
private sector, political parties. Youth movements are divided; the women's
groups are divided. So it's always been difficult for a united front to react very
rapidly in a focused manner for or against something," she said.
Still Cote predicts that in the days
to come, Guineans could see the emergence of something in the form of a counter-movement
both from political parties and civil society.