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Guinea Opposition Leader Signals Cooperation With Conde Government

FILE - Supporters of Union des Forces Republicaines (UFR) presidential candidate Sidya Toure attend his campaign rally at the yard next to the parliament building in Conakry.

A Guinean opposition leader is promising to cooperate with President Alpha Conde to improve the country’s economy.

Former Prime Minister Sydia Toure of the Union of Republican Forces party has been a critic of Conde’s government. He described the economy during the president’s first term as marred by recession and unemployment.

Toure said his decision to collaborate with the government followed a meeting he had with Conde about working together following the president's election to a second term.

“I had a meeting with President Conde on the 5th of December and we discussed the possibility to have a new agreement between our two parties to see during the five years coming if we can help our country to have more growth and more possibilities for the population because the last five years were wasted,” he said.

Toure said his party will advise Conde on how to improve the economy, and stressed he believes consensus is necessary for Guinea to move forward.

Conde last Saturday named mining executive Mamady Youla as the country’s new prime minister after the entire cabinet resigned as is tradition following an election.

A government statement said: "The nomination of Mamady Youla, a senior Guinean executive in the private sector and administration, confirms President Alpha Conde's new push to support job creation and training ... and reinforce Guinean businesses."

From 2004 until his appointment as prime minister, Youla served as managing director of Guinea Alumina Corporation, GAC, which possesses a bauxite concession in Guinea's Boke region.

Youla is expected to name new ministers soon.

Toure said the economic problems Guinea faces today cannot be solved by the appointment of a single individual but rather by everyone working together to bring about the necessary reforms. And he hopes the new prime minister will help in that regard.

Toure said he and Conde did not discuss the possibility of his party joining the new government, but if the opportunity presents itself he might permit a few people his party to serve in the new government.