News / Africa

Violence Continues in Conakry Over Upcoming Elections

Anti government protesters burn tires and place rocks in the streets in Conakry, Guinea, May 3, 2013Anti government protesters burn tires and place rocks in the streets in Conakry, Guinea, May 3, 2013
x
Anti government protesters burn tires and place rocks in the streets in Conakry, Guinea, May 3, 2013
Anti government protesters burn tires and place rocks in the streets in Conakry, Guinea, May 3, 2013
Jennifer Lazuta

Guinea's government says it deployed extra soldiers and police to the streets of the capital, Conakry, Friday, as youth in several neighborhoods set up makeshift barriers, vandalized cars and attacked private businesses. The unrest comes the day after an opposition protest during which the government says one person was killed and at least ten were injured. The opposition puts the death toll at four and says dozens were injured. The main opposition parties accuse the government of trying to rig upcoming elections, and say they will not take part in the polls scheduled for June 30.


Opposition protestors once again clashed with security forces in Conakry Thursday.

The protests, and the subsequent violence, have become a weekly event since the government announced the new poll date in mid-April.


Monday was the last day for candidates to sign up for legislative elections. Several key opposition parties did not put forward any candidates, saying to put their names on the list would have validated the poll date.


Moctar Diallo is a former government minister and leader of a main opposition coalition.


He says that the opposition will not participate in what he says will be a fraudulent election on June 30. And, he says, you cannot hold proper elections to elect the National Assembly without the participation of the opposition. He says the opposition will continue to protest peacefully within the law, and to demand that the government find reason and resume negotiations.


Legislative elections were originally supposed to take place in Guinea by June 2011. They are seen as the final step in a transition to democratic rule after the December 2008 military coup that followed the death of authoritarian President Lansana Conte.

But the vote has been pushed back repeatedly due to disagreements between the ruling party and opposition leaders over the composition of the electoral commission and which company will handle the technical side of voter registration and vote counting.


Mathias Hounkpe is the Guinea country officer for the pro-democracy group Open Society Initiative for West Africa.


"Basically, when you look at what is going on in Guinea today, the president and the government are the only one legitimate group, I mean forces, running the country and this is not good for accountability and for good governance and so on," Hounkpe said.

Hounkpe said that the decision of the opposition parties not to sign up for the poll could backfire.


"What they want is for the government to cancel its decree calling for elections on June 30th, before they sit down and discuss. What they are saying is, if we are not part of the elections, the elections are not going to be held… But when you boycott elections like that, if the elections are held on June 30th, they will not be represented. And that will hurt them," Hounkpe said.


Hounkpe said the opposition should instead focus on how they can monitor the polling process once it starts.


The government says it is open to negotiating with the opposition but that it plans to move forward with elections on June 30.


Efforts are ongoing in Guinea to organize internationally-mediated talks between the government and the opposition.

You May Like

US Imposes Sanctions on Alleged Honduran Drug Gang

Treasury department alleges Los Valles group is responsible for smuggling tens of thousands of kilograms of cocaine into US each month More

At 91, Marvel Creator Stan Lee Continues to Expand his Universe

Company's chief emeritus hopes to interest new generation of children in superheroes of all shapes and sizes by publishing content across multiple media platforms More

Photogallery New Drug Protects Against Virus in Ebola Family

Study by researchers at University of Texas Medical Branch, Tekmira Pharmaceuticals is first looking at drug's effectiveness after onset of symptoms More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebolai
X
George Putic
August 20, 2014 8:57 PM
While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ferguson Calls for Justice as Anger, Violence Grips Community

Violence, anger and frustration continue to grip the small St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri. Protests broke out after a white police officer fatally shot an unarmed black teenager on August 9. The case has sparked outrage around the nation and prompted the White House to send U.S. Attorney Eric Holder to the small community of just over 20,000 people. VOA’s Mary Alice Salinas has more from Ferguson.
Video

Video Beheading Of US Journalist Breeds Outrage

U.S. and British authorities have launched an investigation into an Islamic State video showing the beheading of kidnapped American journalist James Foley by a militant with a British accent. The extremist group, which posted the video on the Internet Tuesday, said the murder was revenge for U.S. airstrikes on militant positions in Iraq - and has threatened to execute another American journalist it is holding. Henry Ridgwell has more from London.
Video

Video Family Robots - The Next Big Thing?

Robots that can help us with daily chores like cooking and cleaning are a long way off, but automatons that serve as family companions may be much closer. Researchers in the United States, France, Japan and other countries are racing to build robots that can entertain and perform some simpler tasks for us. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.

AppleAndroid