Saturday, February 24, 2007

Guinean National Assembly shows spine for the first time in history

Yesterday, Guinea's leader Gen. Lansana Conté asked the country's legislature to prolong the 'state of siege.' The move was assumed to be a formality as the body is almost entirely controlled by his allies, the opposition having boycotted the most recent legislative elections. The body has always assumed the role of rubber stamp to the head of state's decisions and has never, to my knowledge, rejected a prominent request either by Conté or the country's previous dictator Sékou Touré.

Instead, the The National Assembly delivered an unprecedented slap in the face to Conté by unanimously rejecting his request to extend martial law.

In the face of the astonishing vote, opposition leader Bâ Mamadou called for the naming of a national unity government since, according to the Bâ, republican institutions have joined the public in rejecting Conté's misrule.


At 6:22 PM, Blogger Jonathan said...

Pretty amazing, isn't it? Then again, the National Assembly (unlike Conte) is facing re-election this year. Maybe the PUP representatives realized that if they allowed martial law to continue, the public anger would be so strong that they'd even lose a rigged election.

At 11:41 AM, Blogger Brian said...

Jonathan, or maybe they realized that events might spiral out of their control even before the next election. Guinéenews posted an interesting article along the lines of what you wrote suggesting internal divisions inside the PUP.

At 11:42 AM, Blogger Brian said...

Oops, here's the piece:


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