Guinea–Breaking: Did UN Pick for Guinea Dialogue Precipitate Conde Setting Date for Legislative Elections without Consulting Opposition??
SAID DJINNIT, REPRESENTATIVE OF UN SECRETARY-GENERAL IN WEST AFRICA
Conde Sets Date for Legislative Elections
Conde is fond of issuing decrees on Friday and Saturday evenings when the world is paying far less attention than during the week. Following this pattern, Conde saved one of his more important decrees to be delivered by state TV this evening — Conde has fixed the date of June 30 for legislative elections.
Here are excerpts from an aminata.com article about the announcement:
Posted on April 13, 2013
“ The Head of State invited the Independent National Electoral Commission, the National Council of the communication, the Minister of Territorial Administration to take all measures for the implementation of the decree.
The decision to convene the electorate means that the Waymark contract will be maintained and voting by Guineans abroad will not take place.”
These are the two primary demands of the opposition for continuing the dialogue.
“Immediately after the decree was read, Damantang Albert Camara, government spokesman, welcomed the decree. According to him, the country must go quickly to elections to ‘finish the transition.’” The opposition is threatening again, in the next few days, a series of events throughout the national territory. This decree comes after the appointment by Ban Ki Moon of Said Djinit to be the international facilitator for the Guinean dialogue. The decree of the President of the Republic may plunge the country back into violence.”
Said Djinnit, Representative of the UN Secretary-General in West Africa, Appointed International Facilitator for Guinean Dialogue
In the same Saturday evening broadcast on state television, it was announced that Said Djinnit was appointed by Ban Ki-moon to serve as the facilitator to the Guinean dialogue. Djinnit is the most senior UN representative in West Africa. He figured prominently during the 2010 presidential campaign when he weighed in on the extensive state-sponsored violence committed by security forces under interim president Sekouba Konate. Further, Djinnit understood well that the state violence was not only political, but that it was ethnic in nature. Djinnit monitored the 2010 election and made several trips to Guinea to try to pressure the interim government into holding the second round sooner, rather than later. As it was, the second round was held four months late. He was not immune to claims of fraud that permeated the entire 2010 election. In July 2011, Djinnit had to go to Conakry to meet with Conde to give him a little lesson in democracy – Conde needed to meet with ALL political parties to achieve agreements on several issues concerning legislative elections.
To put it simply, few representatives of the international community have the insight into Guinean politics that Djinnit has and the saavy to understand that Conde is not the choice of the majority of Guineans. As a result, Conde and his administration do not want Djinnit in Guinea, much less sitting at the government’s table as a facilitator of the dialogue. Conde has nothing to gain and everything to lose if Djinnit shows up on the steps of Sekoutoureya Palace. The only way to stop Djinnit is to stop the dialogue, and the only way to stop the dialogue is to anger the opposition so thoroughly that it quits the dialogue. A decree setting forth a unilateral decision about the date of the legislative elections is just the kind of bomb to throw.
Opposition leader, Cellou Dalein Diallo, was interviewed by guineenews.org after the decree announcement. Diallo’s first reaction was, “we are not going to accept this.” He said that Conde made a unilateral decision that should have been made within the framework of the dialogue instead. He said it is curious that Conde’s decree came on the eve of re-starting the dialogue and the arrival of Said Djinnit as the international facilitator. He stated that since this decision was not announced by the electoral commission, the CENI, it appears that Conde’s decree took it by surprise as well. He said more information will be available after the opposition meets tomorrow to decide next steps.