Overdue legislative elections in Guinea could rapidly degenerate into violence in the absence of consensus on electoral procedures.
01 September 2014
Electoral Commission (CENI) 18 Aug selected French company to help select operator to review electoral roll ahead of local elections; opposition criticised lack of political consultation, 28 Aug cal ...
Unless Guinea’s main political actors agree on organising the pending legislative elections, there is a risk inter-communal tensions could spark violence that opens the army’s way back to power.
If the armed forces of Guinea are not reformed thoroughly, they will continue to pose a threat to democratic civilian rule and risk plunging the country and the region into chaos.
The killing of at least 160 participants in a peaceful demonstration, the rape of many women protestors, and the arrest of political leaders by security forces in Conakry on 28 September 2009 showed starkly the dangers that continued military rule poses to Guinea’s stability and to a region where three fragile countries are only just recovering from civil wars.
The military junta that took control of the country just hours after President Conté’s death on 23 December 2008 has tightened its grip on power. The self-proclaimed president, Moussa Dadis Camara, and his group of mid-ranking officers calling itself the National Council for Democracy and Development (Conseil national pour la démocratie et le développement, CNDD), have shown few signs of moving towards elections by the end of 2009 as promised.
The political and economic change Guineans demanded in 2007 at the cost of nearly 200 lives is in jeopardy. Dismissal on 20 May 2008 of Prime Minister Lansana Kouyaté and his replacement by Tidiane Souaré, a close ally of President Lansana Conté, puts reform at risk.
Ten months after an unprecedented popular revolt shook the 23-year regime of President Lansana Conté and more than a half year after a new government was formed, Guinea’s stability is as fragile as ever. The honeymoon of Prime Minister Lansana Kouyaté, the ex-diplomat entrusted with producing “change”, is over.
The 12 February 2007 declaration of siege and establishment of a permanent curfew and martial law by President Lansana Conté after three days of renewed violence has brought Guinea to the verge of disaster.
For too long, public figures within and outside Africa have been timid about discussing Guinea’s deep-rooted problems. Its strong anti-imperialist stance in the 1960s and beyond earned it respect among pan-Africanists, but the hands-off attitude that grew out of that respect has long since degraded into indifference and cynicism.
Guinea risks becoming West Africa’s next failed state. Its economy is faltering, the government has nearly ceased to provide services, and in 2004, there were isolated uprisings in at least eight towns and cities in all regions of the country.
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