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Guinea's leader meets with campaigners after unrest

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Guinea's President Alpha Conde on Monday met with political representatives and campaigners to try to resolve a conflict that last week led to the death of at least six people, an AFP journalist said.

Violence broke out in the Guinean capital Conakry last Wednesday as the opposition staged a demonstration calling for transparency during the May 12 legislative polls and to protest against the South African company selected to revise the electoral roll. Dozens were also wounded in the clashes between demonstrators and security forces.

Monday's meeting lasted for about an hour and was "aimed at finding ways and measures to exit the crisis that is penetrating the country," a source close to the presidential palace said.

Senior opposition figure and former minister Aboubacar Sylla said he was disappointed with the meeting. "We came here for nothing," he said.

"The president told us he would implement a permanent framework under the aegis of the prime minister who will contact us on an unspecified date, but there's no schedule, no agenda," he said.

The presidential palace viewed the meeting in a more optimistic manner.

President Conde "is listening to his people because today he is asking all political parties to, together, (with us) find solutions to our problems and move forward," said El-Hadj Bouna Keita, head of the Rally of the Guinean People, or RGP, which is part of the presidential camp.

The vote in the troubled West African country was due to have taken place in 2011, but has been postponed several times. As the elections now close in, the opposition have ramped up demonstrations to demand a free and transparent vote.

On February 23, the leading opposition parties in Guinea said they were pulling out of the election, accusing the ruling party and the electoral body of turning the vote into a farce.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130304/guineas-leader-meets-campaigners-after-unrest