Opposition Pressures Guinea Leader To Sit Out Election

Aug. 23, 2009, midnight

Speaking on behalf of the opposition Union of Democratic Forces, former Prime Minister Cellou Dalein DIALLO has called on junta leader Moussa Dadis CAMARA to stand down in Guinea’s first-round Presidential election, scheduled for January 31, 2010. According to DIALLO, CAMARA’S candidacy would compromise the vote’s “neutrality and impartiality.” CAMARA seized the Guinean presidency in a bloodless coup in December, hours after the death of President Lansana CONTE. CONTE had seized power in 1984, following the death of independence-era President Ahmed Sekou TOURE. CAMARA last spring promised he would not contest the election, originally scheduled for December. His interim government, the National Council for Democracy and Development, since has emphasized the right of junta members to stand for office. The United States embassy in Conakry has issued a statement of disappointment.

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