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08CONAKRY67 2008-01-24 12:04:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Conakry
Cable title:  

DIALOGUE COMMITTEE SET TO HOLD FIRST MEETING ON

Tags:   PGOV ELAB KDEM ASEC GV 
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1. (C) SUMMARY. Most of the member institutions of Guinea,s
Committee de Suivi have named their representatives and
Guinean Government officials report that the committee will
hold its first meeting on January 29. The committee will be
led by the President of the National Assembly and organized
by the Economic and Social Council. Strong links to the
presidency and certain comments by committee organizers
suggest that the committee could become a venue for detailing
the failures of the consensus government, which could
overshadow the unions' goal of reinforcing the powers
delegated to the PM and the consensus government. END
SUMMARY.



2. (U) On January 23, Poloff met separately with Madame
Guilao Josephine Lenaud, Vice President of Guinea,s Economic
and Social Council (CES), and later with Michele Kamano,
President of the CES. The CES is one of Guinea,s three
republican institutions, which also includes the National
Assembly and the Supreme Court. According to Kamano, the CES
is an independent government agency responsible for fostering
public-private dialogue and mediating between the private and
public sectors.



--------------------------


BACKGROUND


--------------------------





3. (U) On January 4, Guinea,s labor unions announced their
intent to resume a nationwide labor strike on January 10. On
the eve of the strike, the unions negotiated an agreement
with the Guinean Government and other stakeholders wherein
they agreed to postpone the strikes in return for a
commitment to dialogue in order to review the January 27
Accords. They agreed to establish a Committee de Suivi to
serve as a mechanism for this dialogue. As of January 17,
only the labor unions had nominated representatives to serve
on the committee (see reftels for further background).



--------------------------


FIRST MEETING PLANNED FOR JANUARY 29


--------------------------





4. (SBU) In regards to progress towards the Committee de
Suivi, Mme Lenaud said that all of the member institutions
(reftel D), except the Patronat and the Council of Elders,
had already submitted their nominations. Lenaud said that
the CES is sending out a letter on January 23 to all the
institutions in order to thank those who have responded and
to remind those who have not to submit their nominations.
Regardless of whether we receive the final nominations, we
have already scheduled the opening meeting of the committee
for January 29,, she said. Lenaud said that invitations to
the opening will be distributed beginning January 24.
According to Lenaud, it is important that the committee
officially start its work and she did not foresee any
problems in getting the last few institutions to specify
their delegates.



--------------------------


REPUBLICAN INSTITUTIONS TAKE THE LEAD


--------------------------





5. (SBU) When asked about how the committee will be
organized, Lenaud said that Aboubacar Sompare, President of
the National Assembly, will preside over the committee as
chair. She added that normally, the CES would fill that
role, but because certain committee members are active within
the CES (including union leaders Sera Rabiatou, Dr. Ibrahim
Fofana, and Yamoudou Toure), it would be a conflict of
interest for the CES to chair the committee. However, Lenaud
said that the CES would act as the committee,s secretariat.



--------------------------


NO ONE IS EXCLUDED


--------------------------





6. (SBU) Poloff asked Lenaud why the political parties are
not represented on the committee. Lenaud said that because
the committee is tasked with reviewing the January 27
Accords, its membership includes only those stakeholders who
actually signed the original Accords, and the political

CONAKRY 00000067 002 OF 002


parties were not signatories. However, Lenaud clarified that
if the committee addresses specific political questions, the
parties will be invited to attend. There is no reason to
involve them in the economic questions., she said. As
Poloff was leaving, Lenaud held her back and emphasized
please tell the Ambassador that political parties are not
excluded from this process. If we know anything it is that
if we want to have a durable solution, we must listen to
everyone.,



--------------------------


EVALUATING THE ACCORDS OR THE IMPLEMENTER?


--------------------------





7. (SBU) In response to a question regarding what role the
committee is to play politically, Lenaud said that the
committee,s job is to review the implementation of the
January 27 Accords. Picking up on some veiled criticisms of
Kouyate during the course of the discussion, Poloff asked
Lenaud if the committee intends to evaluate the performance
of the consensus government. Lenaud said technically, the
committee is not evaluating the PM,s performance, but most
of the Accords, provisions are things that the consensus
government is responsible for implementing and we will be
looking at whether these things have been effectively
implemented.,



--------------------------


ACCORDS FIRST, THEN ELECTIONS


--------------------------





8. (SBU) Michel Kamano told poloff that there are two
fundamental political problems in Guinea. First, we have a
history of poor governance and second, we lack dialogue,,
Kamano said. According to Kamano, the Guinean Government is
particularly bad at communicating with the general
population. People feel excluded politically,, he said.



9. (SBU) With respect to Guinea,s delayed legislative
elections, Kamano said that the elections will help solve
some of the country,s current problems. However, we must
start with the Accords because this is the hottest issue
right now,, Kamano said. He added We must address the
Accords before the end of March, then put them behind us and
focus on elections.,



--------------------------

--
EXCUSE ME MR. PM ) WHY NO COUNCIL OF MINISTERS?


--------------------------

--



10. (SBU) Before closing the meeting, Kamano emphasized that
the CES, main role is to serve as a mediator. Offering an
example, Kamano pointed out that the PM has failed to hold a
Council of Ministers meeting since the week of January 7. He
noted that a meeting would normally take place on January 23
and that he planned to meet with the PM later in the day to
ask if the meeting took place and if not, why not. Once I
talk to the PM, I will go to the president and advise him,,
Kamano said. (COMMENT. The PM reportedly held a Council of
Ministers meeting on January 23. END COMMENT).



--------------------------


COMMENT


--------------------------





11. (C) The Committee de Suivi is increasingly looking like
yet another venue for political machinations by various
actors. With Sompare as the chair and the CES acting as the
Secretariat, the committee has clear ties to the presidency.

SIPDIS
Thinly veiled criticisms of Kouyate were evident throughout
the discussions with both Lenaud and Kamano, suggesting that
the committee may be used by some actors as a mechanism for
publicly illustrating how Kouyate has failed to deliver
according to his mandate. Since the unions have
traditionally been Kouyate,s biggest supporters, this
committee could end up backfiring on them if it is used to
undermine Kouyate rather than to reinforce the powers
delegated to the PM by the president. END COMMENT.
CARTER