Guinea Opposition Seeks Outside Mediators to Prepare for Vote

Three main opposition groups in Guinea asked international mediators to help establish a framework for talks with the presidency before a legislative vote scheduled for May.

Outside mediators could help ease tension in the West African nation after local negotiators gave up “following the obstinate refusal of those in power to allow for a rapprochement with the opposition,” Aboubacar Sylla, a spokesman for the opposition coalition, told reporters in capital, Conakry today.

Government spokesman Albert Damantang Camara said talks under the directive of Prime Minister Mohamed Said Fofana were to start soon. He urged political leaders to “call on their supporters to respect the peace and wait until the negotiations end.”

Last week, seven people were killed in clashes between government forces and opposition supporters demanding more transparency in the electoral process, according to the opposition.

Guinea’s opposition is concerned about voter registration and other preparations for the elections now planned for May 12, after two delays. President Alpha Conde, who came to office in 2010, has accused the opposition of blocking electoral reform and obstructing the vote.

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