Thursday, April 06, 2006

Guinean PM sacked amidst signs of a power struggle

Signs of an apparent power struggle have broken out in Guinea, according to the UN's IRIN news service. On Tuesday evening, state radio twice reported on a decree by head of state Gen. Lansana Conté that would've significantly increased the powers of the prime minister Cellou Dalien Diallo.

But on Wednesday morning, state radio announced that the decree had been voided and that the government was 'maintained as it was before 4th April.'

Later, it announced that the prime minister had been fired 'for serious misconduct.'

Diallo had been in Conté's cabinet for a decade and was held in high regard by international institutions. But speculation persisted that Conté's inner circle did not appreciate Diallo's reformist tendencies.

His predecessor, François Fall, resigned claiming that his reforms were being undermined political meddling and corruption around Conté.

Update: In a move harkening back to the bad old days of the despot Sékou Touré, the regime has suspended distribution of the magazine Jeune Afrique. The pan-African weekly, which often fell afoul of Touré's dictatorship, was banned after publishing an article detailing how sick Conté was and saying he was 'no longer but an instrument in the hands of his inner circle.'


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