Failure by Guinea’s politicians to reach agreement for a long-delayed legislative poll is stirring up tribal violence, jeopardizing economic gains and raising fears that the military could once again step in. The election, first scheduled for 2011, is meant to complete a transition to civilian rule after a military coup in 2008, but has been postponed several times as government and opposition parties remain at loggerheads over the organization of the vote. At least 12 people have been killed and over 300 wounded between February and April during several days of violent clashes between opposition supporters, government loyalists and security forces in the seaside capital Conakry, Reuters reports.
The government and its opponents have traded accusations of stirring hatred between the largely pro-opposition Peul, who account for around 40 percent of the population, and the smaller Malinke tribe loyal to President Alpha Conde.
… Hopes of a compromise waned when the government said this month it would press ahead with the elections on June 30, disregarding opposition objections.
The opposition has demanded South African firm Waymark be stripped of a contract to revise the voter list. They say Waymark, which was hired in between the two rounds of the 2010 presidential election, when Conde’s vote climbed from just over 18 percent to nearly 53 percent to overhaul main opposition challenger Cellou Dalein Diallo, was helping Conde rig the vote by registering more of his supporters. Waymark Managing Director Pikie Monaheng dismissed allegations that his company was favoring Conde: “This is business. We’re just the technology provider.”
Conde’s government says there is not enough time to find a new firm before the ballot. The opposition has also demanded the mostly pro-opposition diaspora be allowed to vote, but time is against that, too, says the government.
Full Article: Guinea on brink of chaos over long-delayed poll | DefenceWeb.