Monday, February 26, 2007

General strike in Guinea ends (again) as union-backed prime minister named

Reprinted with permission from Friends of Guinea's blog

Guinean unions will again suspend the general strike after the head of state Gen. Lansana Conté agreed to name a prime minister from a list of names proposed by the labor organizations. His previous choice, Eugene Camara, was rejected by unions as too close to Conté.

According to Guinéenews, the unions proposed Mohamed Béavogui (of the International Fund for Agricultural Development), Saïdou Diallo (from the National Social Security Fund) and Lansana Kouyaté (former executive director of ECOWAS, the West African economic community).

The deal came shortly after the National Assembly took the unprecedented step of unanimously rejecting Conté's demand to extend martial law in the country.

Work in the country will resume on Tuesday February 27, according to unions who say that Conté has until March 2 to uphold his part of the deal.

The return to work was delayed by a day as unions observed a national day of commemoration for the over 100 people killed during the general strike.

Update: Guinéenews and the BBC World Service report that Conté has named former ECOWAS chief Lansana Kouyaté as the new prime minister.

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