Guinea elections to be delayed


Guinea‘s military chiefs want the country’s military junta, which seized power in December, to delay elections due to take place by the end of the year, state television reported late yesterday.

A group of army officers led by Captain Moussa Dadis Camara (pictured) seized power in the world’s biggest bauxite exporter in a bloodless coup when veteran President Lansana Conte died, Reuters adds.

Camara’s National Council for Democracy (CNDD) junta has struggled to maintain stability and is regularly criticised by rights groups over abuses. The CNDD has answered critics at home and from abroad by vowing to hold polls by the end of the year.

Guinea is not ready to organise presidential and parliamentary elections in 2009. The people want you to agree to a delay,” Colonel Oumar Sanoh, chief of staff of Guinea‘s armed force, told Camara on state television on Sunday.

The television showed Camara meeting the heads of the army, navy and air force at the time the statement was made.

“You have started projects which have not been finished. The country still lacks water and electricity,” Sanoh added.

International bodies widely condemned the CNDD’s coup and have said they will only support the country if Camara sticks to promises made to them, as well as Guinean political leaders, unions and civil society groups, to hold polls this year.

The National Council for the Transition (CNT), which is charged with taking the electoral process forward and was meant to have been set up by March, is not yet functioning.