Citing technical problems with electoral systems and a need to address political party concerns, Guinean President Alpha Condé for the second time has postponed national legislative elections. The voting, originally scheduled for last December and then rescheduled for July 8 of this year, is needed to mark the next step in the West African nation’s transition from five decades of authoritarian rule to a civilian-led democracy.
The United States supports the Guinean Government’s efforts to resolve problems with electoral equipment, but strongly urges Guinea’s government and all political parties to use the interim period to reconcile differences and work together to formulate a realistic timetable for legislative elections.
President Condé won election in 2010, replacing a military junta that seized power at the death of former President Lansana Conte in late 2008. Since his inauguration, Condé has ruled by decree, working with a National Transition Council, or CNT, acting as a temporary legislative body in the absence of the parliament disbanded by the junta.
We strongly urge the Guinean government to make legislative elections its top priority. Polling must be held in a timely manner to ensure that the voices and will of the Guinean people are reflected in the country’s governance. It is also important that all political sides be active participants to ensure that the elections are free and fair.