Guinea opposition plans countrywide protests over poll delay

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Cellou Dalein Diallo speaks to the press at the Republican Palace in Conakry, in 2011

Guinean opposition leaders on Monday announced a national protest campaign beginning May 10, to demand talks with President Alpha Conde's government on the holding of delayed legislative elections.


"We have decided to express our frustration through marches and other demonstrations," said Cellou Dalein Diallo, leader of the Union of Democratic Forces of Guinea.


He was speaking at a press conference by several opposition chiefs who announced that from Thursday the demonstrations would take place across the country until their demands are met.

"According to the law we will inform the competent authorities in a timely fashion," said Diallo.


Another opposition figure, Sidya Toure, said: "These protests and others, are to obtain frank discussions from Alpha Conde's regime that will allow us to prepare and organise legislative elections with the greatest transparency."


The previously delayed elections were again postponed in April, after being set down for July 8, as Conde said there were "technical problems" that had not been resolved.


Legislative elections were to be held under constitutional rules within six months of Conde's inauguration in December 2010. The European Union has warned that, without democratic elections, it will release no aid to the country.


The opposition has, amongst others, demanded an audit of the electoral roll before the polls are held.


The last legislative elections were held in June 2002 during the regime of president Lansana Conte who died in December 2008 after 24 years in power.


A transitional council has served as a parliament since 2010 during the transition from military to civilian rule.



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