News / Africa

    Opposition to Boycott Guinea Election

    Protesters gather as thousands rally to call for the departure of South African company Waymark, which was hired by the Guinean government to re-do the country's electoral list, in Conakry, Guinea, September 20, 2012.
    Protesters gather as thousands rally to call for the departure of South African company Waymark, which was hired by the Guinean government to re-do the country's electoral list, in Conakry, Guinea, September 20, 2012.
    James Butty
    Guinea’s opposition parties are gearing up for two days of nationwide protests against the government’s decision to hold a much delayed parliamentary election May 12. 

    This comes as the opposition announced over the weekend that it was pulling out of the legislative election.

    Ousmane Diallo, a member of the Executive Committee of the Union of Democratic Forces of Guinea said among the reasons for withdrawing from the poll is the government’s decision to select a South African company - Waymark - to handle the voter register.

    “The opposition has not had enough information about this election. Actually, we want to just have a discussion with the government about this election because we are not sure of the operators selected by the government - Waymark - the South African enterprise.  We are not ready to accept the decision of government about this election,” he said.

    The National Electoral Commission approved Waymark a week ago, but the opposition said the company would skew the voter list in favor of President Alpha Conde’s government.

    Diallo said the opposition’s claims are supported by the opinion of international experts.

    “We have a lot of technical information.  Last November, experts from a Francophone organization came here.  They analyzed the technical information of Waymark, and they concluded that Waymark was not ready to organize the voter list of the election,” Diallo said.

    Butty interview with Diallo
    Butty interview with Dialloi
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    He described the National Electoral Commission as a political entity that answers to the government.

    Diallo rejected any notion that opposition parties are rejecting the May 12  date for the parliamentary election because they are not organized.

    “We are ready, but we know that we cannot have a good election on May 12th because this date is not good for [the] election.  We don’t have a voter roll; we don’t have any materials,” Diallo said.

    He said this week’s national strikes will go ahead as planned.

    “We are going to demonstrate in all areas of the country, in the capital, Conakry, and other regions.  It is national demonstration.  We will demonstrate because we need to discuss with government about this election.  We don’t want this operator - Waymark.  We don’t want the action of the European Union representative in Guinea,” Diallo said.

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