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Guinea Political Agreement a Hopeful Sign


FILE- Opposition protestors clash with police in Conakry, Guinea in 2013. The Government of Guinea and two main opposition parties there have now signed an agreement.

The Government of Guinea and two main opposition parties there have signed an agreement to settle their dispute over terms of the upcoming presidential election, raising hopes of an inclusive and peaceful vote.

The Government of Guinea and two main opposition parties there have signed an agreement to settle their dispute over terms of the upcoming presidential election, raising hopes of an inclusive and peaceful vote.

The deal, reached after weeks of informal talks, allows for representation in local communal councils to reflect results of the 2013 legislative election. As part of the agreement, the government pledged to give the opposition representation in 128 of Guinea's 343 districts.

The agreement also addresses the opposition’s concern about the integrity of voter registration lists. The government agreed to establish a technical committee attached to the National Independent Electoral Commission to review the lists. Finally, there was agreement to replace two recently deceased members of the commission with opposition members.

Guinea has made solid progress since its democratic transition in November 2010, but the terms of the October 11 presidential elections have been in dispute. The opposition has staged protests, some resulting in injuries and several deaths.

The United States commends the agreement reached between Guinea’s ruling and opposition political parties, which clears the way for Guinea to hold the first round of presidential elections next month. The Government and opposition political parties demonstrated goodwill, flexibility and a shared commitment to holding credible, inclusive and peaceful elections.

We remain committed to supporting the electoral process and urge the parties to continue dialogue throughout the election period, committing themselves and their supporters to non-violence. We encourage all parties to build on this positive development by working together to prepare for the elections according to the new agreement.

The United States sees a role for all Guineans in standing together at this important moment and ensuring the upcoming elections unify the nation and strengthen its democracy.

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