News / Africa

Guinea's Electoral Commission Faces Challenges

The Guinea Electoral Commission's newly elected president Bakary Fofana waves moments after being elected on November 1, 2012 in Conakry.
The Guinea Electoral Commission's newly elected president Bakary Fofana waves moments after being elected on November 1, 2012 in Conakry.
Nancy Palus
Guinea's electoral commission is sworn in and ready to begin moving the country to long-delayed legislative elections. The opposition, which has contested the commission's membership, took part in Thursday's swearing-in, but says major hurdles remain before Guinea can hold a free, transparent poll.

The government-decreed membership list, which sparked a protest when it was released on Monday, includes nine of the 10 people delegated by the opposition.
 
Under Guinean law the commission is to have 10 members from the ruling party, 10 from the opposition.
 
Fodé Oussou Fofana, vice president of the UFDG party, and a leading member of Guinea's opposition coalition, says the government's move was aimed at provoking the opposition.  The government wants to give the international community the impression that the opposition does not want to go to elections.   Fofana adds that this is in part why the opposition decided to participate in the launch of the electoral commission.
 
Still, opposition members say the commission does not yet conform to the law and they will continue their appeal to get their 10th member included.
 
Beyond membership issues, though, a longstanding grievance of the opposition remains, the company that will manage electoral lists.  Guinea's opposition for months has argued that the current operator was unilaterally hand-picked by President Alpha Condé and must be replaced.
 
Opposition leader Fodé Oussou Fofana says the new electoral commission must select an operator based on a consensus.  We will not accept that the government impose a tainted, unfair electoral list.
 
Opposition leaders say this must be one of the electoral commission's first priorities.
 
For its part the Guinean government says it is committed to an election that will be free, fair and transparent.
 
Guinea was to have elected a parliament six months after President Condé came to power at the end of 2010.  The incomplete political transition has some donors suspending development assistance.  

Guineans say they are eager to see the country break out of political deadlock and move on. Diomandé Ibrahima, a university student in Conakry says that people welcomed the news that the electoral commission is finally getting underway. Guineans are keen to see these elections finally happen, he says.
 
On Thursday, after members of the commission were sworn in, they elected Bakary Fofana commission president.  Long active in Guinean civil society, Fofana was a minister in a transitional government in 2010.
 
The commission must now come up with a timeline for legislative elections.

You May Like

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said To Be Improving

Experimental drugs have been tried on six people: three Westerners and now, three African pyhysicians More

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

As Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities residents rebuild their lives, but many say everyone is being treated with suspicion More

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

Girls learn to object; FGM practitioners face penalties from jail sentences to stiff fines More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improvingi
X
Carol Pearson
August 19, 2014 11:43 PM
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 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 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 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.
Video

Video For Obama, Racial Violence is Personal Issue

The racial violence in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson is presenting U.S. President Barack Obama with an issue to which he has a deep personal connection. To many Americans, Obama's election as America's first black president marked a turning point in race relations in the United States, and Obama has made ending the violence a policy priority. On Monday he issued a new call for calm and understanding. Luis Ramirez reports from the White House.
Video

Video Clinton-Obama Relationship Could Impact 2016 Election

President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have a long and complicated relationship. That relationship took another turn recently when Clinton criticized the president’s foreign policy. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports there is renewed attention on the Clinton-Obama relationship as Hillary Clinton considers running for
Video

Video Iran Looks to Maintain Influence in Baghdad With New Shia PM

Washington and Tehran share the goal of stopping Syrian-based militants in Iraq. But experts say it's Iran, not the United States, that will most influence how the new government in Baghdad approaches internal reforms and the war in Syria. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns has the story.

AppleAndroid