Guinea’s military leader refuses postponement of elections

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The head of the joint AU-UN-ECOWAS mission, General Lamine Cissé has presented his first evaluation report of the restructuring of the defense and security sector in Guinea to the interim president, Sékouba Konate. The ceremony took place at the Palais du Peuple Tuesday in Conakry. General Konate used the occasion to warn his officials against any attempt to extend the transitional period.

“Nobody has the power or right, especially within my immediate entourage and among my closest collaborators, to extend the transition or delay the election for any reason whatsoever,” said General Sékouba Konate as he received the eveluation report on the restructuring of the Defence and security sector from the joint AU-UN-ECOWAS mission. Sékouba Konate added that he and his team will leave office after June 27. “We will all leave after June 27 which, in time and history, marks the end of our mission, our mandate,” he said.

 However, many suspect Tibou Kamara, Minister Secretary General of the Presidency, of trying to have the pending elections postponed after a recent letter he addressed to Rabiatou Serah Diallo, President of the National Council of transition, proposed the adoption of a new constitution by referendum. Given the limited time-frame before the presidential election, which is scheduled to take place on June 27, Mr. Kamara’s proposal could suggest a possible postponement. This came after the interim Prime Minister, Jean Marie Dore, had suggested the adoption of the new constitution by referendum.

But General Konate has insisted on the need for the main actors in the transition to adhere to a strict programme so as to ensure that the election is held within the set time-frame. The General has often lauded the virtues of democracy, which he believes is “necessary” for the welfare of Guineans. General Konate has also promised to one day reveal the true nature of the country’s recent history, good or evil, in his memoirs.

On the restructuring and reform of the country’s defense and security sector, General Lamine Cisse has expressed his willingness to ensure that the necessary steps are taken to promote the respect of the rule of law. According to him, his administration has been gathering recommendations from the country’s entire defence and security sector in the past three months, and hopes they will remain in the service of the various democratic institutions in Guinea.

Meanwhile, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations in West Africa, Said Djinnit, has reiterated “the full support of the international community” to back president Konate’s effort in order to ensure that the elections are held as scheduled.

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