Monday, June 21, 2010

[Guinean news] Less than a week until historic elections

Campaigning and preparations in Guinea are well underway for the June 27 poll, expected to be the first ever free and democratic elections in the country's history. Some 24 candidates are contesting the presidential election, none soldiers.

The US NGO the Carter Center has sent a delegation to monitor the vote and has described the campaign as 'positive.' The African Union has also praised preparations.

The Economist had a profile of the head of state Gen. Sekouba Konate and his efforts to ensure that both the elections and the future civilian administration remain free of military meddling. Additionally, the army chief of staff Col. Nouhou Thiam warned that there would be no immunity for soldiers involved in the Sept. 28, 2009 massacre.

However, Foreign Policy warns that challenges remain beyond the formal election. It published an article on 'Guinea's economic junta' which noted that the army's domination of lucrative mineral contracts won't end with the ascension of a democratic head of state.

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