Supporters of Guinea’s sidelined military ruler are secretly plotting his return to the country, but any actions to disrupt a planned election will be quashed, Guinea’s interim prime minister said on Wednesday.
Jean Marie Dore also said that the government was ready for voting on June 27, as planned, but it was up to the election commission to “maintain or change the date”, which analysts say could be threatened by logistical and technical delays.
Supporters of Captain Moussa Dadis Camara, who ran the world’s top bauxite exporter until he went abroad for medical treatment after he was shot in December, have threatened to disrupt the election in parts of the country unless Camara returns from convalescence in nearby Burkina Faso.
“There are supporters of the former head of the (junta) who are holding secret meetings planning his return. I warn them — any actions that target the elections will be dealt with very strongly,” Prime Minister Jean Marie Dore told News Agency reporter.
Many fear a return by Camara risks disrupting efforts to stabilise the country. Guinea is now run by Camara’s deputy, General Sekouba Konate, who has appointed an interim prime minister and promised a return to civilian rule.
As well as facing protests by pro-Camara youth in his native Forestiere region earlier this month, Konate arrested about a dozen pro-Camara officers suspected of fomenting instability.
Camara’s seizure of power in a December 2008 coup was initially popular in the poor West African nation. But he became increasingly unpopular due to his erratic behaviour, delays in holding elections and widespread abuses by the military.
Konate took over as interim head of the country in a January deal that also saw civilian opposition and union leaders brought in to oversee the restoration of democracy.
Before the election can take place, Guinea’s new constitution, which formally introduces the permanent post of a prime minister, must be approved.
Political leaders are hoping the document will be approved by decree, not a referendum, so that voting is not delayed.
But some analysts fear a delay anyway since, on top of threats of disruption by Camara’s supporters, the election commission must finalise voter lists and organise logistics.
SOURCED FROM REUTERS