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Army dissolves institutions after President Conte's death

Video by George HARRIS

Latest update : 2008-12-23

Guinea's constitution was suspended hours after President Lansana Conte died aged 74. Army officers leading a coup attempt summoned government ministers to a military base "to guarantee their security," according to a state radio statement.

AFP - Guinea's constitution has been suspended, and its government and state institutions have been dissolved following veteran President Lansana Conte's death, an army captain said on state radio Tuesday.
"The institutions of the republic have shown themselves to be incapable of resolving the crises which have been confronting the country," Captain Moussa Dadis Camara said in an address on Radio Conakry.
"As of today, the constitution is suspended as well as political and union activity.
"The government and the institutions of the republic have been dissolved," he added.
A "consultative council" comprised of civilian and military representatives would be set up in their place.
Camara said the impoverished west African country was in a state of "deep despair" and it was vital that there was an upturn in the economy and more was done to combat corruption.
The radio address came within hours of an announcement by the speaker of parliament that Conte, in power since 1984, had died late Monday after "a long illness" aged 74.
Immediately after the announcement, Prime Minister Ahmed Tidiane Souare appeared on state television where he appealed for calm among the "brave Guinean people" and called on the army to help keep the peace.
After presenting his condolences to the people of Guinea in the name of the government, Souare, flanked by the speaker of the national assembly and the armed forces chief of staff, had then called for "calm and restraint."

Date created : 2008-12-23