Guinea's New Election Commission Delayed

Opposition Parties

Guinea's opposition blocked the swearing-in ceremony of the country's new election commission Wednesday and reiterated that it will sue if the panel's members are not changed.


Disagreements over the electoral process in this West African nation already have spilled over into violent protests and made it impossible for the country to hold legislative elections.


Members of the commission were appointed earlier this week via a presidential decree, but the opposition was unhappy with

the list and said it would take the matter to court.

"We have appointed lawyers to draft a nullification request for the Supreme Court," said Aboubacar Sylla, the opposition spokesman.


The 25-seat electoral body consists of 10 members from the ruling party, 10 from the opposition, three from civil society and two from the administration. Sylla said that of the 10 seats reserved for the opposition, only nine were in fact opposition members.

A swearing-in ceremony set for Wednesday was postponed after the opposition planned to boycott.


Opposition activists say that if the court does not hear their appeal, they will call for a march.


Previous marches led by the opposition have led to clashes with security forces, often along ethnic lines, because the country's police and army are largely drawn from the same ethnic group as current President Alpha Conde.


Guinea suffered decades of dictatorship and strongman rule before 2010, when it succeeded in holding its first democratic presidential election since winning independence from France in 1958.


The country, though, has become increasingly divided along ethnic lines. It now has a democratically elected president but not a functioning parliament because of the failure to organize legislative elections.


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