Guinea’s government and opposition parties reached a deal on Wednesday to hold long-delayed legislative elections at the end of September to complete the mineral-rich nation’s transition to civilian rule. Elections scheduled for June 30 were postponed after a wave of protests, with the opposition accusing President Alpha Conde of planning to rig the poll. Conde won a 2010 election in Guinea’s first democratic transition of power, but his victory was contested by the opposition. “We have reached an agreement,” Mouctar Diallo, one of the opposition’s leaders, told Reuters. “I hope the international community will guarantee the implementation of this deal.”
Political instability following a 2008 military coup deterred some investors from Guinea despite its large deposits of iron ore, bauxite, gold and other minerals.
The election, originally due to take place in 2011, is essential to unlock nearly 200 million euros of European Union funding.
Wednesday’s agreement means elections should be held within 83 days. With Guinean electoral law specifying voting must take place on a Sunday, this would make the date of the election September 29, Diallo said.