News / Africa

Guinea’s Rival Parties Agree to Form Unity Government

Burkina Faso's President Blaise Compaore (C) and mediator in the guinea crisis poses after a meeting with Guinea's presidential candidate Cellou Daleine Diallo (R) and Alpha Conde (R) on 3 Sep 2010 at the presidential palace in Ouagadougou
Burkina Faso's President Blaise Compaore (C) and mediator in the guinea crisis poses after a meeting with Guinea's presidential candidate Cellou Daleine Diallo (R) and Alpha Conde (R) on 3 Sep 2010 at the presidential palace in Ouagadougou

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  • Yousouff Sylla, a special adviser to Guinea's presidential candidate and former Prime Minister Cellou Dalein Diallo spoke with Clottey

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Peter Clottey

A top official of the Union of Democratic Forces in Guinea (UDFG) told VOA his group has agreed in principle to form a unity government with opposition leader Alpha Conde’s Guinean People's Rally party (RPG) regardless of the outcome of the presidential run-off vote.

Yousouff Sylla, a special adviser to leading presidential candidate and former Prime Minister Cellou Dalein Diallo, said the agreement will help reduce tension and preserve the country’s unity before, during and after the scheduled 24th October election.

“My party is willing to build up a democratic system which will work properly and, in that kind of system in principle, the loser must get some assurances that he is not going to lose everything. He needs some protection. On that basis, we feel that we should talk and make the other side know that they have a role that they will still play, even if they lose (the election).”

Local media reported that military leader General Sekouba Konate mediated talks between the two candidates to help end sharp disagreements ahead of the vote, including who will lead the electoral commission.

Supporters of the former prime minister accuse Conde of masterminding what they described as the controversial election of Louceny Camara to be the chairman of the electoral body, a charge his supporters deny.

Sylla concurs with assessments that the agreement to form a possible unity government after the October vote could reduce tension and prevent conflicts ahead of the vote.

“Definitely, just look at the case of South Africa. If the whites in South Africa were not given the assurances that, after the election, if blacks took over, they will still be protected, it would have been quite hard to reach an agreement. Therefore, I think that such an agreement will lessen the tension and help build confidence among the parties so that we will proceed to build up a democratic system and to think more about the development of Guinea.”

Sylla also cautioned that the agreement is not to form a coalition with veteran opposition leader Alpha Conde.

“This is not an alliance. Our alliance is with UFR, NVR and other people. It’s not an alliance. It’s an agreement between the two parties that are competing to make sure that we remain brothers and sisters, and all Guineans will be working together after the election to build up our country, and to make it a democratic system, and to work on the task of development and improving people’s well-being.”

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