Guinea voters urged to set their sights on stability
Monday 28 June 2010
Voters in Guinea went to the polls yesterday, forming long queues for their first chance to freely elect a leader since their country secured independence from France in 1958.
A smooth election would not only act as a potential trigger for the investment needed to exploit the West African country's vast mineral riches and revive its economy, it could also act as a green light to international donors and lenders. And a clean vote could also boost pro-democracy movements in a region that has seen a string of coups and tainted elections.
Last September, an army crackdown on pro-democracy marchers led to more than 150 deaths and took Guinea close to civil war. Weeks later, junta leader Moussa Dadis Camara was wounded in an assassination attempt by an aide, and his Western-backed successor pledged to hand rule back to civilians.
Former Nigerian head of state General Yakubu Gowon, leading the Carter Centre's election observation mission, said voting was going well.
Guinea is the world's top exporter of the aluminium ore bauxite, and multinational mining companies are wrestling over its lucrative iron ore resources, yet a third of the population of 10 million live in poverty.
Sekouba Konate, the soldier who succeeded Camara as junta leader and who insists he has no interest in political power, told Guineans they were at a turning point.
"I say to Guineans, it's your choice: freedom, peace and democracy, or instability and violence," he told reporters.
Royal Marine Sgt Alexander Blackman jailed for life for murder of Afghan insurgent
Ja Rule forced to deny leaving wife for prison cell mate
Nelson Mandela: 11 inspirational quotes to live your life by
Nelson Mandela's death: South Africa and the world mourns loss of Nelson Mandela
Crash pilot who threatened Ukip leader Nigel Farage found dead
- 1 Cameron's freebie to apartheid South Africa
- 2 Is this the scariest advert ever? Japanese tyre commercial comes with its own disclaimer and health warning
- 3 Sherlock series 3: Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman provide teasers for the biggest comeback in British television
- 4 A forgotten episode in Russian history leaves links with the Philippines
- 5 People will try to reduce Mandela to a lilting reggae tune about ‘love’. They will fail
- < Previous
- Next >
£50000 - £70000 per annum + Benefits : Harrington Starr: Senior Automation QA ...
£30000 - £40000 per annum + Bonus and Benefits: Harrington Starr: A global Con...
£31000 - £43000 per annum: Capita Education Resourcing Permanent Team: This se...
£27000 - £45000 per annum: Capita Education Resourcing Permanent Team: Lambeth...