Guinean legislative election, 2008

Guinean legislative election, 2008

A legislative election is planned to be held in Guinea in late 2008.

Election date

The election was originally planned to be held in June 2007, but was postponed to December 2007 due to the January-February 2007 general strike, which resulted in the appointment of a new government and Prime Minister. [ [ "Guinea to postpone elections"] , AFP ("The Times", South Africa), 10 May 2007.] It was, however, subsequently considered likely that the election would be postponed another time to around March 2008 due to delays in setting up the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) and the need for revision of electoral lists. [Malick M. Bangoura, [ "Vers les élections législatives : Revue à mis parcours du projet d’appui"] , "Le Diplomate Guinée", September 16, 2007 fr icon.] [ [ "Guinea: Country Awaits New Date for Legislative Poll"] , IRIN, November 1, 2007.] A date for the election in November or December 2008 has been proposed. [ "Guinée: Vers l'organisation des législatives en fin 2008"] , Panapress (, February 13, 2008 fr icon.]

On October 11 2007, Prime Minister Lansana Kouyaté expressed regret regarding slowness in the organization of the election and said that it would be difficult to hold the election by December. Political parties had difficulty reaching an agreement on how many members should be on CENI. [ "Vers un report probable des Législatives en Guinée"] , Panapress (, October 11, 2007 fr icon.] CENI was established in November 2007. [ "GUINEA: Elections in doubt for 2008"] , IRIN, June 25, 2008.]

On February 12 2008, an "ad hoc" commission responsible for determining a timetable for the election proposed that it be held between November 23 and December 14 2008.

Following the replacement of Kouyaté by Ahmed Tidiane Souaré in May 2008, the International Crisis Group released a report on June 23 2008 expressing doubt about the likelihood of the election being held before the end of 2008. This report expressed concern that a delay might "compromise economic revival and bury the independent commission of inquiry tasked with identifying and prosecuting authors of the 2007 crackdown". CENI President Chiekh Fantamady Condé said that he was "convinced" that the election would be held in 2008, however.


In preparation for voter registration that is needed for the revision of the voter rolls, an awareness campaign regarding registration was launched on May 20 2008. [ [ "CENI : La campagne de sensibilisation pour la révision des listes électorale est lancée"] , Guineenews, May 20, 2008 fr icon.]

CENI President Condé said in June 2008 that the voter registration process, which was being undertaken by CENI and the Ministry of the Interior, would be complete by August. This election will be the first in Guinea to use biometric registration, involving the fingerprints and photographs of voters.

Although registration was scheduled to begin on July 15 2008, it was subsequently delayed to August 1 in mid-July. This delay was attributed to political instability in May and June 2008 and associated financial difficulties. The process is planned to take place over the course of two months and will be conducted by 2,100 agents. [ [ "Political, financial constraints delay voter registration in Guinea"] , African Press Agency, July 17, 2008.] In early August, the start of registration was again delayed. [ [ "Guinea postpones voter registration again for lack of funds"] , African Press Agency, August 3, 2008.]

Funding and international involvement

As of October 2007, the budget for the election was placed at about 79 billion Guinean francs, with about 18 billion coming from the government and foreign aid required for the remainder. As of June 2008, the government had contributed 26% of the total; the European Union had contributed $6.2 million, while ECOWAS had contributed $500,000 and France had contributed $155,600 (sums in United States dollars). Germany has also said that it would contribute. Many feel that the Guinean government is relying excessively on donors and should pay for a larger portion of the budget.

As of July 2008, the electoral budget was placed at 146 billion Guinean francs, having been increased from an earlier figure of 132 billion Guinean francs. [ [ "Guinea gears up for general population census"] , African Press Agency, July 9, 2008.]

Said Djinnit, the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General in West Africa, met with CENI on August 18 as part of a visit to review Guinea's progress in electoral preparations, political dialogue, and security. Djinnit gave a public assurance that the UN would do everything it could to assist in preparations for the election. [ [ "UN envoy in Guinea to assess preparations for legislative elections"] , African Press Agency, August 19, 2008.]

It was reported in late August that about three billion Guinean francs would be provided to parties by the government for campaign purposes, although 90% of this money would go to parties already represented in the National Assembly, such as the ruling Party of Unity and Progress (PUP), the opposition Union for Progress and Renewal (UPR), and the opposition Union for the Progress of Guinea (UPG). [ [ "Guinea grants CFA 3mn francs to political parties for election campaign"] , African Press Agency, August 26, 2008.]


According to CENI President Condé, past electoral fraud caused many people to lose faith in voting, and he emphasized the importance of ensuring transparency and encouraging participation so that the election would be credible.


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