See also:
» 28.10.2010 - Still good hope for Guinea polls
» 29.06.2010 - Ivorians follow Guinea vote with envy
» 28.06.2010 - Guinea hailed for first-ever free elections
» 14.05.2010 - UN praises Guinea, Niger transition
» 14.04.2010 - "Guinea security reform on track"
» 08.03.2010 - Guinea sets election date
» 16.02.2010 - Guinea’s civilian administration set up
» 03.02.2010 - Guinea twists September massacre findings

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Guinea's coup plotters promise elections by 2010

afrol News, 24 December - Latest reports from Conakry have said that the military group that has claimed to have seized control has been largely accepted without much protest.

Guinea's alleged military coup plotters have also pledged to hold elections within two years after they claimed to have seized control of the country following the death of president Lansana Conte on Monday.

Local media reports said today soldiers loyal to the officers claiming control, were cheered by crowds who seemed to have finally been rescued from a 24 years of silence.

The group's leader, said to be a young army captain, by the name of Moussa Camara, also went on the state broadcast saying the new regime, which calls itself the National Council for Democracy and Development, will hold credible elections by 2010.

The situation in the West African state was said to be tense and almost, with yesterday's counter report that Mr Conte's regime was still in control.

Mr Conte, who died on Monday at the age of 74, has ruled Guinea for almost 25 years, since taking power in a military coup in 1984.

Prime Minister Ahmed Tidiane Souare had claimed yesterday that his government continued to function, but the situation today suggested otherwise.

Both the African Union and the United Nations have expressed concern on the new developments in Guinea and appeal for a smooth democratic transfer, while also urging for upholding of the constitutional rule.

The AU condemned the announcement of the seizure as well as the decision by the coup plotters to suspend the Constitution and various institutions of Guinea, while the UN, joined by other international missions in Conakry, send cautionary messages, especially to its international staff in Guinea.

The diseased Guinean leader, had been assumed dead on many earlier occasions, as his multiple illnesses often prevented him from appearing in public. It was believed he suffered from leukaemia, but officials so far only had admitted his strong diabetes illness.

While Mr Conté ruled Guinea with an iron hand, allowing no real opposition, the country remained an island of relative stability in an otherwise troubled region, where brutal war ravaged neighbouring Liberia and Sierra Leone. Internal problems were dealt with using the army, which brutally answered any attempts of protests, strikes or rioting.

His rule however did not allow for economic development in the country, known to be immensely rich on natural resources. Rampant corruption, embezzlement and very poor governance lead to total lack of development in Guinea during Mr Conté's two decades in power, and several generations born without hopes of any future.

His authoritarian style, which included frequent changes of government, also permitted any successor to emerge, let alone any functional political parties that could engage in a credible electoral competition. The only movement having wide credibility among Guineans are the trade unions, which on several occasions have led the people in political protests against the regime.

Guinea is one of the poorest countries in the world, despite its mineral wealth, while the country also hosts large refugee populations from neighbouring Liberia and Ivory Coast.

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