Guinea’s government said on Thursday it would push ahead with plans to organise by year-end a legislative election that is tied to aid from the European Union and other donors, despite objections from the opposition.
The government of newly elected President Alpha Conde plans to carry out an electoral census and revamp the minerals-rich nation’s voter roll, rejecting opposition demands for the census to be decided by the country’s independent electoral body.
Guinea’s minister for administration said the election would be held by the end of the year as scheduled after the completion of the voter roll, while a spokesman for the opposition warned it would mobilise its supporters and organise protests marches to stop the census.
“We promised to hold elections this year. This was one of the conditions for the resumption of full international cooperation with our country,” minister Alassane Conde told a news conference in Conakry late on Thursday.
Veteran opposition leader Alpha Conde (no relation to the minister) was elected president of the world’s top bauxite producer in November and the legislative election is suppose to end a long transition from military rule.
But political tensions continue to simmer in the West African nation and the European Union has said it will only resume full cooperation, which could unblock aid worth millions of dollars, after Guinea organises legislative elections.
The opposition however said the government’s decision to carry out the electoral census was illegal.
“At the Union of Democratic Forces of Guinea (UFDG), we have mobilise our supporters. We will use all legal means to prevent this illegal operation, including demonstrations,” Oury Bah, a spokesman for the opposition told Reuters.
UFDG is lead by Cellou Dalein Diallo who lost the November presidential vote to Conde.