Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Guinea: Guinea’s interim President vows presidential elections will be held as schedule

UN - Guinea’s interim President Sékouba Konaté has reassured the United Nations and its African partners that presidential elections will be held as scheduled on 27 June following recent reports of tension among the West African country’s transitional authorities over the electoral process.

A joint delegation of the UN, the African Union (AU) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) conferred with the president, Prime Minister Jean Marie Doré and other transitional and electoral officials during a visit to Conakry, the Guinean capital, on 29 and 30 April.

The impoverished country was gripped by unrest after the forces of Moussa Dadis Camara, who seized power in a coup in 2008 following the death of long-time president Lansana Conté, opened fire on unarmed protesters at a rally last year, killing at least 150 people.

In December, Mr. Camara was wounded in an assassination attempt. In January, after mediation by President Blaise Compaoré of nearby Burkina Faso and others, an agreement was signed setting up a Government of national unity and calling for elections within six months.

“The interim Guinean President, General Sékouba Konaté, reaffirmed that all measures will be taken to ensure that presidential elections are held on 27 June 2010,” a communiqué issued by the delegation said.

“The delegation’s objective was to confer with the Guinean authorities and encourage them to pursue their efforts in accordance with the joint declaration of Ouagadougou [Burkina Faso’s capital where the January agreement was signed].”

Composed of Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Special Representative for West Africa Said Djinnit, AU Special Envoy for Guinea Ibrahima Fall and ECOWAS Commission President Victor Gbeho, the delegation urged the transitional authorities to ensure strict respect for the electoral calendar and take all necessary measures, including adoption of a proposed constitution and electoral code.

“The delegation reiterated the international community’s resolve to support Guinea’s transition process in conformity with the joint declaration of Ouagadougou,” the communiqué said. “The delegation calls on the Guinean people to seize the unique opportunity it now has to participate actively in the country’s democratic restoration and emergence from crisis.

“It urges citizens to maintain a climate of peace, security and social cohesion in the greater interests of the Guinean nation.”

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