Guinean parties agree to hold polls in six months to end crisis

10:16, January 17, 2010      

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After consultations of thee days in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, Guinea's military junta and opposition have agreed to hold the presidential elections in six months to end the crisis since December 2008.

The talks from Wednesday to Friday involved the wounded junta leader, Capt, Moussa Dadis Camara, who is the president of the National Council for Democracy and Development (CNDD); Sekouba Konate, who is the CNDD vice president and the interim leader; Blaise Compaore, the Burkina Faso president and the mediator in the Guinea crisis; and the opposition "pressure groups", who are pressing for the return to a civilian rule.

The parties finally agreed on the measures to be taken to ensure a peaceful transition in Guinea.

According to a declaration published at the end of the talks, these personalities in the presence of other CNDD members decided to respect the freedom of the press and expression and guarantee security for people and their property.

Other than the reorganization and reform of the security and defense forces, they recommended the creation of a National Transition Council (NTC), a political deliberative body that will be led by religious personalities and made up of 101 members representing the different interests in the Guinean society.

The appointment of the prime minister, who will be the president of the council of ministers and who is supposed to come from among the Forum of the Guinean Pressure Groups, and the formation of a government of national unity were also envisioned in the joint declaration.

They also recommended preparations for the presidential elections to be held in six months.

The declaration barred the serving members of the CNDD, the prime minister, the government of national unity and the national defense and security forces from taking part in the presidential elections.

The declaration urged the West African bloc ECOWAS to send observers to monitor the polls and set up a body to follow the implementation of these recommendations.

The signatories to the declaration appealed to the international community to provide political, financial and technical support to the implementation of the measures that had been agreed upon.

To that end, Compaore will appoint a special representative to the transition team in Guinea.

Comapore and Guinean interim president Konate termed as satisfactory the improving health status of the CNDD president, Camara, officials said.

They expressed to him their total solidarity and compassion for the ordeal he had suffered, and wished him quick recovery, according to sources close to the consultations.

Camara expressed his profound gratitude to them for all the precious support that he had received from them.

He said he was willing to take a break so that he can recover although he remained available to give his contribution whenever required to the transition team.

All parties thanked King Mohammed VI of Morocco for medical treatment of Camara in Rabat.

The junta leader was flown to a military hospital in Rabat on Dec. 4 after sustaining gunshot wounds in the head by an aide-de-camp the previous day. He was airlifted to Ouagadougou on Tuesday night before the consultations. The declaration is widely seen as a breakthrough since the talks were stalled after the Sept. 28 crackdown on the opposition in Conakry.

Source: Xinhua
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