News / Africa

    Minister: Guinea to Hold Polls With or Without Opposition

    Guinea's President Alpha Conde speaks at the World Economic Forum, Jan. 26, 2012.Guinea's President Alpha Conde speaks at the World Economic Forum, Jan. 26, 2012.
    x
    Guinea's President Alpha Conde speaks at the World Economic Forum, Jan. 26, 2012.
    Guinea's President Alpha Conde speaks at the World Economic Forum, Jan. 26, 2012.
    Guinea will hold long-delayed parliamentary elections this year, to conclude its transition to civilian rule, with or without the participation of the country's main opposition coalition, a government minister said on Friday.

    The mineral-rich country originally was supposed to hold the vote in 2011, but it was held up amid wrangling over the makeup of the electoral commission and opposition accusations that the government was planning to rig it.

    Eight people were killed and hundreds more wounded during two weeks of clashes this month between security forces and opposition protesters demanding reforms before the election, currently scheduled for May 12, could be held.

    Guinea's minister for territorial administration, Alhassane Conde, told Reuters the objections would not block the vote. Guinea President Alpha Conde is not related to the minister.

    "Yes, the elections will be held this year, very soon, with or without the opposition," Conde said in an interview at his office in the capital Conakry's administrative district. We don't want to do it without them, but if necessary, we will go ahead and hold the election without them," he said.

    Prolonged transition

    The vote is meant to be the last step in a drawn-out transition to civilian rule after a coup in late 2008 led to two bloody years with the army in charge.

    Conde accused some members of the opposition of making unacceptable conditions to try and delay elections he said they feared losing.

    Opposition groups have alleged there were irregularities in awarding a contract to update the electoral register to the South African firm Waymark - and demanded a replacement.

    "If we were to bring in a new company to replace Waymark, there is no way we'll be able to organize the election within the next six months," said Conde.

    The European Union, a major donor, unblocked about 174 million euros [$223.43 million] in aid after the elections commission proposed a date for the parliamentary polls late last year. But Conde said Guinea risked losing future donor funding if elections were not held by September.

    More protest

    The opposition this week walked out of talks with the government organized in the wake of this month's violence, accusing the ruling coalition of failing to respect the terms of a planned dialogue over election preparations.

    The opposition coalition on Friday called for another round of protests and a strike from April 8, saying the government has not contacted them since they abandoned the talks.

    Guinea's main opposition leader Cellou Dalein Diallo, who lost to President Conde in a tight presidential run-off in November 2010, told Reuters last week the opposition would do everything to stop the election if it was held without them.

    "We'll not participate in the election with Waymark handling the technical process, and we'll disrupt it. We do not want the election to be held without us," Diallo told Reuters during a visit to Senegal.

    Guinea is the world's top supplier of the aluminum ore bauxite and holds rich deposits of iron ore, gold and diamonds. But the political turmoil has unnerved investors.

    Behind Guinea's political feuding there is a deep-rooted rivalry between the Malinke and the Peul, its two largest ethnic groups. The Malinke broadly support President Conde, while the opposition draws heavily from the Peul.

    You May Like

    California Republicans Mull Choices in Presidential Race

    Ted Cruz tells state's Republican Convention delegates campaign will be 'battle on the ground, district by district by district,' ahead of June 7 primary

    Video Kurdish Football Team Helps War-Torn City Cope

    With conflict still raging across much of Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, many Kurds are trying to escape turmoil by focusing on success of football team Amedspor

    South African Company Designs Unique Solar Cooker

    Two-man team of solar power technologists introduces Sol4, hot plate that heats up so fast it’s like cooking with gas or electricity

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

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora