News / Africa

Guinea Opposition Boycotts Talks

Anti-government protesters set fire during clashes with Guinea security forces in Conakry, Feb. 27, 2013.Anti-government protesters set fire during clashes with Guinea security forces in Conakry, Feb. 27, 2013.
x
Anti-government protesters set fire during clashes with Guinea security forces in Conakry, Feb. 27, 2013.
Anti-government protesters set fire during clashes with Guinea security forces in Conakry, Feb. 27, 2013.
Jennifer Lazuta
Guinea’s president has released the names of proposed mediators to facilitate talks over much-delayed legislative elections. While this act was expected to be an important step in resuming deadlocked political talks, opposition leaders say the government has not followed agreed on guidelines for making the selections and that they plan to boycott all future negotiations.
 
It has been more than four years since Guinea has had an elected National Assembly. Following a 2008 coup, which led to a tumultuous two-year transitional period, legislative elections were supposed to take place within four months of the inauguration of elected President Alpha Conde in December 2010.
 
Disagreements between the ruling party and opposition leaders over the organization of the polls, however, have led to repeated delays.
 
The opposition accuses the government of trying to rig the polls. The government says the opposition has been making unreasonable demands.

Continuing disagreement

Last week, the two sides appeared to be ready to overcome their differences when the government agreed to an opposition request to bring in an international mediator to facilitate negotiations and help advance the election preparations.
 
It was a decision that many Guineans saw as a sign of hope that the country finally could move forward and complete its transition to civilian rule.
 
Now, political dialogue over how to organize Guinea’s legislative elections, though, seems to have come to a halt once again.
 
Aboubacar Sylla, a spokesman for the opposition, said the two sides agreed to bring in three mediators: one would be on behalf of the government, one for the opposition and one to represent the international community. He said now, though, the government has unilaterally chosen four facilitators, two of which are representatives of the ruling party.  He noted this was never talked about during preliminary negotiations.
 
Haggling over mediators


Sylla said the opposition will not participate in any more negotiations until the government honors the conditions that were agreed upon.
 
But government spokesperson Damantang Albert Camara denied the government has violated any terms for choosing the mediators.
 
The government has named a group consisting of four facilitators, he said, but a specific number of possible facilitators was never previously specified. He said the opposition’s concern over a co-facilitator is premature, because they have not yet finalized their decision. He said the opposition must return to the table to continue with the dialogue and move the elections forward.
 
Legislative elections were most recently scheduled to be held in May, but it appears unlikely the country will be ready by then.
 
Camara said no date has been set for finalizing the government’s choice of mediators, but that a decision cannot be made unless both sides are present.

You May Like

Multimedia Social Media Documenting, Not Driving, Hong Kong Protests

Unlike in Arab Spring uprisings, pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong aren't relying on Twitter and Facebook to organize, but social media still plays a role More

Analysis: Occupy Central Not Exactly Hong Kong’s Tiananmen

VOA's former Hong Kong, Beijing correspondent compares and contrasts 1989 Tiananmen Square protest with what is now happening in Hong Kong More

Bambari Hospital a Lone Place of Help in Violence-Plagued CAR

Only establishment still functioning in CAR's second city is main hospital More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plainsi
X
October 01, 2014 10:45 AM
It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plains

It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Draw New Supporters on National Holiday

On the 65th anniversary of the founding of Communist China, Hong Kong protesters are hoping to stage the largest pro-democracy demonstration since the 1989 Tiananmen protests. VOA's Brian Padden visited one of the protest sites mid-day, when the atmosphere was calm and where the supporters were enthusiastic about joining what they are calling the umbrella revolution.
Video

Video India's PM Continues First US Visit

India's prime minister is on his first visit to Washington, to strengthen political and economic ties between the world's oldest and the world biggest democracies. He came to the U.S. capital from New York, the first stop on his five-day visit to the country that denied him an entry visa in the past. From Washington, Zlatica Hoke reports Modi seemed most focused on attracting foreign investment and trade to increase job opportunities for his people.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid