Parliamentary poll set for May 2009

Following weeks of speculation over the timing of Guinea’s overdue parliamentary elections, the prime minister on 17 December told the National Assembly the poll would take place end of May 2009.



Legislative elections are seen as an essential element for restoring political stability in Guinea, which for years has been pummeled by political and socio-economic unrest. After deadly civilian uprisings in 2007 in which people called for President Lansana Conte to step down, measures aimed at appeasing the population included setting parliamentary elections for late 2007. The elections have been repeatedly postponed since.



Following the latest cancellation – the poll had been set for December 2008 – some political observers were concerned about rumours that the legislative elections might be put off until the presidential election set for 2010. Government officials noted at a recent conference in the capital Conakry that running the legislative poll would be expensive.



Prime Minister Ahmed Tidiane Soaré’s 17 December announcement to the National Assembly comes days after a meeting of political leaders and the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) in which it was decided that the polls would be held on 31 May 2009.



Guinea’s last parliamentary elections – in 2002 – were boycotted by many opposition parties over alleged irregularities. The ruling party of President Lansana Conte won 91 of 114 seats.



mc/np/aj