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Guinea Update 4-10: Guinea PM Fofana Invites Kouyate, Toure, Diallo and Dore for a Chat and the CENI Confirms the Commonly Held Belief That It Should Not Be Running Elections

April 10, 2013


PM Mohamed Said Fofana invited four of Guinea’s former prime ministers to meet with him at the Palace today: Cellou Dalein Diallo, Lansana Koyate, Sidya Toure, and Jean-Marie Dore. Opposition spokesperson, Aboubacar Sylla, participated as well. The meeting took less than an hour.

While participants have not commented publicly on the topic(s) discussed, speculates that PM Fofana brought the group together to share the name of the person chosen by the UN to serve as international facilitator for the Guinea dialogue.

Regarding the CENI, more trouble is brewing. By agreement between the government and the opposition, the CENI is supposed to put all its activities on hold until after the conclusion of dialogue talks. Word comes from several areas in the Forest region, that the CENI is busy working away.

Freezing the activities of the CENI is a long-standing condition of the opposition to enter into talks in the first place. This is not a frivolous request. The CENI has dealt consistently in bad fair with the opposition and, in particular, the opposition’s representatives on the CENI.

A particularly serious issue is that the CENI, under the guise of revision of the electoral rolls, is actually conducting a census which is not a function under the CENI’s mandate. A census conducted by an electoral body such as the CENI, which has a known political bias, can easily alter the ethnic and political landscape of Guinea — in a way that has little bearing in reality. Should the country decide to do a census in the future, participation would involve a wide spectrum of Guinean society.

Upon finding out that the CENI was conducting census work in N’Zerekore and other areas, the opposition sent a letter to prefectural officials on April 5, asking that the CENI stop immediately.

With a CENI like this and an election contractor like Waymark, no member of the international community would tolerate such illegal activities in their own elections — they should not be asking the people of Guinea to do so either.

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