- West Africa
Guinea’s junta makes conflicting election declarations
Election promises under threat
Captain Moussa Dadis Camara, the Guinean head of state who came into power through a bloodless coup d’état in December has assured Guineans that neither he nor those who connived to get him into power will run for office in the forthcoming Guinea elections.
Guinea is in dire need to stabilize its political system and restore constitutional law so as to better tackle its economic situation: A third of the world’s bauxite reserves are found in the west African country, but its people are among the poorest in West Africa.
Expectations are rising from the Guinean public and foreign observers alike following the announcement of polls scheduled for the end of the year in which the the incumbent leader has promised not to participate. "We’re heading into elections. I am not going to run and the members of the National Council for the Defense of Democracy (CNDD) are also not going to run," Capt. Camara was quoted by the AFP news agency as saying.
Although he has assured the people of Guinea that he will restore democracy in the country, the military leader also controversially accused the country’s politicians of trying to force the military to leave power too early: A statement that has raised eyebrows among both Gunieans and observers.
Some observers of the mineral rich African country claim that there is no certainty of a peaceful transition to democracy in the poverty-stricken west African country. In April, two army officers were arrested on suspicion of plotting a coup, as Capt Camara prepared for his first official trip outside the country. This incident highlights the uncertainty of the forthcoming polls, according to some observers.
The African Union suspended Guinea from its body until the return of constitutional order. However the African body has worked closely with the military rulers to try to bring Guinea back to constitutionality. Capt Camara who came to power after the death of former President Mr. Lansana Conte, who had ruled Guinea for 24 years, said he would step down after free and fair elections were held.