Guinea's PM fired by President

Wednesday, April 5, 2006

File:Lansana Conte VOA.jpg
Guinean President Lansana Conte

Today, Guinean president Lansana Conte fired his prime minister, Cellou Dalein Diallo, for "grave wrongdoing and serious misconduct." The two appeared to be in a power struggle as President Conte quickly reversed a shuffle planned by PM Diallo that would have replaced allies of President Conte with allies of PM Diallo. The shuffle was announced on a radio broadcast but was stopped short by Army members because Secretary-General of the Presidency, Fode Bangoura, had not been notified. Opposition groups called for a new government while President Conte was receiving medical treatment in Switzerland, but he returned immediately to reduce any concerns.

Local journalist Maseco Conde says he believes the army was acting under the orders of President Conte and not under its own initiative. He says in the current context of Guinea's politics, it would not be possible for anyone to take such an initiative without the consent of President Conte. But the journalist says even though Mr. Conte is still in control, this latest political fiasco shows he is losing his tight grip on power.