- The Guinean ruling military junta has agreed to hold elections in late 2009 after persuasion by political parties and civil society groups, local media has reported.
The coalition of political parties and non governmental organisations has proposed 11 October for parliamentary elections, followed by a presidential vote on 13 December. The coalition has also proposed the run off on 27 December if no candidate would win the polls conclusively.
Guinean leader Captain Moussa Dadis Camara who seized power in a coup last December said the country should seize all the opportunities available to organise free and fair elections that would ensure the proper transition and return of constitutional rules.
"To us, it is not about whether we should leave or stay in power, but it is about finding solutions so that there be no chaos after we leave," he said.
The military leadership had originally promised to organise free elections by December 2010, but after objections from political parties and international organisations they revised that decision in January.
In January, the United States said it was suspending aid to Guinea if the military junta does not return to civilian rule.
The US signed an agreement with the Guinean government in September to reinforce democratic governance in the country through the organisation of free and transparent elections.
Captain Camara seized power on 23 December 2008 after the death of President Lansana Conte who ruled the country for more than two decades. Mr Conte, who died in December aged of 74, had ruled Guinea for almost 25 years, since taking power in a military coup in 1984.
While Mr Conte 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.
Despite the country’s vast mineral wealth with deposits of bauxite, iron ore, gold and diamonds, the population remains among the poorest in the world.
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