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Africa

January 31 election promise 'impossible' to keep

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2009-11-26

The promise by Guinea's military rulers to hold elections on January 31 will be "technically impossible" to keep, the head of the west African country's poll commission told AFP Wednesday.

AFP - The promise by Guinea's military rulers to hold elections on January 31 will be "technically impossible" to keep, the head of the west African country's poll commission told AFP Wednesday.

"It is technically impossible to hold elections at the planned date because of several unforeseen circumstances," said voting commission chief Ben Sekou Sylla, speaking by telephone from Guinea's capital Conakry.

He added that voter lists had yet to be drawn up because international donors have withdrawn aid for Guinea following the September massacre of scores of opposition protesters by the security forces.

"We have not even commissioned electoral materials yet, we don't have voter lists because of the suspension of financial aid by donors," Sylla explained.

"We are waiting to be asked to propose a new date and maybe the ongoing talks in Ouagadougou will lead to that," he added, referring to talks in the Burkina Faso capital between the junta and the opposition.

The junta, which seized power in a bloodless coup in December 2008, had pledged to hold presidential elections on January 31.

However the country has been in political deadlock after government forces opened fire on anti-junta demonstrators at a football stadium in September. The UN and human rights organisations said more than 150 civilians were killed.

For the past few weeks Burkina Faso's president Blaise Compaore, who has been designated as the international mediator in the conflict, has been trying to lead negotiations between the rival factions but so far his proposals have been rejected.
  

Date created : 2009-11-25

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