CONAKRY Dec 13 Guinea's main opposition parties
on Thursday rejected a proposed date for a long-delayed
parliamentary election intended to be the last stage in a
transition to civilian rule after a military coup in 2008.
A spokesman for the opposition coalition, Aboubacar Sylla,
said the election commission chief had announced the date of May
12 without the necessary two-thirds majority approval of its
"This date is null and void," Sylla told reporters.
The rejection risks bringing further delays to unblocking
more than $200 million in aid to the West African state, whose
transition to full democracy has been fraught with political
An election commission member told Reuters only about half
of the 25-member body had agreed on the date proposed by its
head, Bakary Fofana.
Sylla also said opposition parties no longer had any
confidence in Sabari and Waymark, the two firms that have been
chosen by the government to update the voter list.
Guinea is currently run by President Alpha Conde, who was
elected in 2010 in the first free vote after 50 years of one-man
rule. The army seized power in 2008 after the death of veteran
leader Lansana Conte and Guinea endured two years of often
violent military rule.
The parliamentary poll was due in 2011 but has already been
delayed four times.
The European Union, one of Guinea's major donors, warned in
November that it needed a credible and detailed timeline for the
election to unblock about 174 million euros ($226.90 million).
The political deadlock has also contributed to doubts
amongst investors, who are keen to tap into the country's vast
iron ore reserves.
In a sign of growing tension, at least three people were
killed and 106 wounded in clashes on Monday night in southern
Guinea between opposition militants and government supporters.