EU urges free elections in Guinea, respect for constitution
The European Union on Tuesday urged the leadership of Guinea to hold free and transparent elections as soon as possible in the wake of the death of the West African nation's President Lansana Conte, dpa reported.
The 27-member European bloc appealed to the relevant politicians and civil and military institutions to respect the constitution and ensure a peaceful transition of power, the French EU Presidency said in a statement released in Paris.
The EU also said was closely following developments in Guinea where a section of the military Tuesday launched an apparent coup just hours after Conte's death was announced. A statement read out on the radio said that both the government and the constitution were suspended.
Captain Moussa Dadis Camara said a council of civilian and military leaders would be set up to replace the government as state institutions were "incapable of resolving the crises which have been confronting the country," the BBC reported.
National Assembly President Aboubacar Sompare announced Conte's death on state television in the early hours of Tuesday. The impoverished country's long-term president was believed to have been 74 at the time of his death.
Sompare asked Guinea's Supreme Court to officially declare the presidency vacant, which would mean a presidential election must be organized within 60 days.