International news



Guinea in chaos after long-term president's death

Published: Tuesday 23 December 2008 10:51 UTC
Last updated: Tuesday 23 December 2008 10:51 UTC
It is unclear who is in control in Guinea following the death of long-term president Lansana Conté aged 74. An army captain has announced on state radio that the constitution has been suspended, the government dismissed and union activities banned. Under the constitution, the parliamentary speaker should have assumed power until the outcome of presidential elections to be held within two months.

Lansana Conté ruled Guinea with an iron fist for 24 years, having seized power in an army coup in 1984. Over the last few years, there was growing discontentment with his regime but any dissent was crushed by the military.

In May, his grasp on power was further weakened after a mutiny by discontented soldiers. His illness was also a problem: he suffered from chronic diabetes and had been diagnosed as having leukemia.