Monday, December 22, 2003

CONTE TO WIN LOW-TURNOUT GUINEA POLL; COUNTRY'S FUTURE REMAINS UNCERTAIN
South Africa's Daily Mail and Guardian reports on how Guinea's ill ruler clings to power. General Lansana Conte will surely be re-elected after the results of yesterday's poll are counted (or "counted" depending on who you ask). The vote was boycotted by all the main opposition parties who insisted the poll was to already rigged in favor of the man who's been head of state since a military coup propelled him to power in 1984. The BBC reported that Gen. Conte "cast his vote without getting out of his vehicle." The 69 year old strongman's health (he has severe diabetes and reportedly had part of one his legs amputated) has been a critical question.. Many wonder if he will live to finish his seven-year term and, absent any apparent dauphin, what will happen to the country when he does pass on. Many are worried about Guinea's stability as it is in the heart of an extremely unstable region.

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