News / Africa

Political Deadlock in Guinea to be Mediated

Men stand and watch as a fire rages in the background during clashes between rival gangs in Marche Madina, in Conakry Mar. 1, 2013
Men stand and watch as a fire rages in the background during clashes between rival gangs in Marche Madina, in Conakry Mar. 1, 2013
Jennifer Lazuta
Guinea's government and opposition leaders have agreed to bring in an international mediator to facilitate talks over the organization of much-delayed legislative elections.  The move could be an important first step to loosening the political deadlock that has already delayed the polls by two years and led to repeated violent street protests. 

Guinea has not had an elected National Assembly since before the death of longtime president Lansana Conté in December 2008.  There was a military coup within days of Conte's death, followed by a tumultuous two-year transitional period, followed by a hotly contested and at-times violent presidential election in 2010.

Legislative elections were supposed to be held four months after President Alpha Condé took office in December 2010.

They have been pushed back multiple times due to disputes over the organization of the polls. The opposition accuses the government of trying to rig the elections in their favor.  The government says the opposition is holding up the process.

But the two sides could be ready to work past their differences.  The government has accepted an opposition request to hold talks in the presence of an international mediator to get the electoral process back on track.

Ruling party member Alhousseny Makanera Kake says this acceptance shows that they are open to anything that will allow the elections to move forward with little delay.  He says the mediator is meant to help resolve the differences between their different points of view.

Both sides say they want a mediator from an independent international body, ideally West African regional bloc ECOWAS or the United Nations.

Moctar Diallo, a former government minister and a member of the main opposition coalition, said international mediation is necessary for successful talks, and free and fair elections.

It will ensure that the entire process remains honest, he said.  He says they have been in this same crisis for more than two years.  He says it is time to organize elections and finish the transition to civilian rule.

The elections were most recently scheduled for May, however it looks unlikely that the country will be ready by then.

Guineans say they hope the mediated talks will be a step in the right direction.  However, many remain frustrated with the political class.

University student Malick Toure says now they want to bring in outsider to solve their problems? He says the country has tried that before.  Maybe Guinea just needs to resolve its own problems, he says, and the two sides should sort things out face to face.

President Condé will name the international mediator.  Each side will also be able to select a third-party facilitator to participate alongside them.

You May Like

Pundits Split Over Long-Term US Role in Afghanistan

Security pact remains condition for American presence beyond 2014; deadline criticized More

US Eyes Islamic State Threat

Officials warn that IS could pose a threat to US homeland More

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Moscow says Russian troops crossed into Ukrainian territory by mistake More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Diakite from: China
March 23, 2013 2:08 AM
After the recent ethnicclashes in the country, I think each side has understood that no one has interest for creating incontrolable troubles which favor the come back of military state or even a somalization of the country. If we fall into such situation like Somalia, the talks for holding elections will change to the talks of ceasefire. And for how long?

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocksi
X
George Putic
August 25, 2014 4:00 PM
How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Ukrainian officials say they have captured Russian soldiers on Ukrainian territory -- the latest accusation of Moscow's involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the Ukrainian side of the battle, where soldiers are convinced of Russia's role.
Video

Video Rubber May Soon Come From Dandelions

Synthetic rubber has been around for more than a century, but quality tires for cars, trucks and aircraft still need up to 40 percent or more natural rubber content. As the source of natural rubber, the rubber tree, is prone to disease and can be affected by bad weather. So scientists are looking for replacements. And as VOA’s George Putic reports, they may have found one in a ubiquitous weed.
Video

Video Jewish Life in Argentina Reflected in Yiddish Tango

Jewish people from across Europe and Russia have been immigrating to Argentina for hundreds of years. They brought with them dance music that was eventually mixed with Argentine tango. The result is Yiddish tango -- a fusion of melodies and cultural experiences that is still evolving today. Elizabeth Lee reports on how one band is bringing Yiddish tango to Los Angeles.
Video

Video Peace Returns to Ferguson as Community Tries to Heal

Thousands of people nationwide are expected to attend funeral services Monday in the U.S. Midwestern city of St. Louis, Missouri, for Michael Brown, the unarmed African-American teenager who was fatally shot by a white police officer August 9 in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson. The shooting touched off days of violent demonstrations there, resulting in more than 100 arrests. VOA's Chris Simkins reports from Ferguson where the community is trying to move on after weeks of racial tension.
Video

Video Meeting in Minsk May Hinge on Putin Story

The presidents of Russia and Ukraine are expected to meet face-to-face Tuesday in Minsk, along with European leaders, for talks on the situation in Ukraine. Political analysts say the much welcomed dialogue could help bring an end to months of deadly clashes between pro-Russia separatists and Ukrainian forces in the country's southeast. But much depends on the actions of one man, Russian President Vladimir Putin. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Artists Shun Russia's Profanity Law

Russia in July enacted a law threatening fines for publicly displayed profanity in media, films, literature, music and theater. The restriction, the toughest since the Soviet era, aims to protect the Russian language and culture and has been welcomed by those who say cursing is getting out of control. But many artists reject the move as a patronizing and ineffective act of censorship in line with a string of conservative morality laws. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video British Fighters on Frontline of ISIS Information War

Security services are racing to identify the Islamic State militant who beheaded U.S. journalist James Foley in Syria. The murderer spoke English on camera with a British accent. It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for the Islamic State, also called ISIL or ISIS, alongside thousands of other foreign jihadists. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from the center of the investigation in London.

AppleAndroid