The U.N. special representative to West Africa, Said Djinnit, says talks between Guinea’s government and opposition about the upcoming legislative elections are making headway. The opposition says it will agree to the government’s choice of poll operator and call off its boycott if the government agrees to ten conditions. Political analysts are cautiously optimistic. Guinea’s government says it could be willing to meet certain opposition demands, such as allowing Guineans living abroad to vote in the upcoming legislative polls and resuming the revision of electoral registers. In return, the opposition says it will go along with the government’s choice of South African company Waymark to handle the technical side of voter registration and vote counting.
The dispute over the poll operator has sparked deadly opposition protests over the past year. The opposition announced in February that it would boycott the election.
Vincent Foucher, a senior analyst for West Africa at the International Crisis Group (ICG), said this latest round of talks is promising.
“Well, this is a big step actually. The situation has been blocked for a long time and it does seem like there is beginning of advances on a number of key blocking points. But I think working on Guinea, you get bipolar. Things go up and down and up and down. There have been previous episodes of optimism, followed by new blocks, and I think we should be very cautious,” Foucher said.
Full Article: Talks on Guinea Polls Inch Forward.