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Opposition chooses veteran activist as PM candidate

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-06-25

Guinean opposition veteran Jean-Marie Dore (pictured) has been named prime minister of a transition government by the country’s ruling military junta, with union leader Rabiatou Serah Diallo as deputy prime minister, according to junta sources.

REUTERS - Guinea’s military junta has named veteran opposition politician Jean-Marie Dore as prime minister of a transition government charged with restoring civilian rule, a source close to the junta said on Tuesday.

Dore, head of the Union for the Progress of Guinea, will head a government with the task of leading the west African country towards its first democratic elections since Moussa Dadis Camara took power in a coup in December 2008.
 
Like Camara—still convalescing outside the country after a Dec. 3 assassination bid—Dore is from one of the minority ethnic groups of Guinea’s Forestiere region. His naming is hoped to persuade Camara supporters to back the transition process.
 
The appointment was made after discussions between Camara and Sekouba Konate, the junta’s second in command who assumed control of the world’s biggest bauxite exporter after Camara was shot in the head by an ex-aide de camp.
 
“Jean Marie Dore has been named Prime Minister,” the source said. “He has been chosen not just for his experience but also for his knowledge of Guinean politics,” adding that Konate was due to return to Guinea on Tuesday from Burkina Faso’s capital Ouagadogou, where he met a frail and slow-speaking Camara.
 
The talks in Ouagadougo, during which trade unionist Rabiatou Serah Diallo and General Toto Camara were named as deputy prime ministers, were mediated by Burkinabe President Blaise Compaore.
 

The international community and Guinean opposition parties have demanded elections since Camara’s coup sparked a political crisis which some feared could destabilise a fragile region.
 
That crisis intensified when security forces killed over 150 people at a pro-democracy march in September, a massacre for which the United Nations said Camara was responsible.
 
Since then, world bodies have been looking for a way out of the crisis which would sideline Camara and permit the junta and its opponents to begin the difficult path to democratic polls.
 
CREDIBLE FIGURE
 
“We are satisfied with the naming of Jean-Marie Dore,” said Mamadou Bah Baddiko, leader of the Union of Democratic Forces party, one of the members of Guinea’s pro-democracy coalition.
 
“It’s imperative that the transition succeeds, but the (coalition) will be there to help,” he said.
 
The septuagenarian Dore, as a long-term opposition figure who twice stood against former strongman president Lansana Conte, retains political credibility. But some Guineans voiced concern that his lack of experience in government might hinder what many expect to be a difficult transition.
 
“This deal satisfies all parties, and it will create a synergy to get us out of this crisis,” said Conakry businessman Mohamed Fawaz. “There’s no reason why a country so rich in natural and human resources should be so poor.”
 
As well as aluminium ore bauxite, Guinea produces gold and could be a major source of iron ore. It has attracted hundreds of millions of dollars of investment from firms such as Rio Tinto, Alcoa and RUSAL, yet much of the country lacks reliable basic infrastructure.
 
Uncertainty about Guinea’s political future remains, and is discouraging potential investment.
 
“I’ve no confidence in Jean-Marie Dore, and I fear that he will lead us toward a fiasco,” said retired aviation worker Ibrahima Diallo. “They should have chosen a technocrat to make a successful transition more likely.”

 

Date created : 2010-01-19

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