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Page last updated at 09:11 GMT, Thursday, 16 April 2009 10:11 UK

Guinea coup head could fight poll

Military leader Captain Moussa Dadis Camara
Moussa Dadis Camara seized power after Lansana Conte's death

Guinea's military leader has said he has the right to contest elections promised this year, despite previously pledging to stand down.

Captain Moussa Dadis Camara angrily accused politicians of thwarting his government's efforts and of failing to respect its authority.

He also accused businesses of sabotaging his government and ordered them to reverse recent price hikes.

Mr Camara seized power last December after the president died.

During a visit on Wednesday to the Boulbinet district of the capital, Conakry, the interim president accused politicians of thwarting the efforts of his government, especially with the donor community.

He then urged them to be careful because "every citizen has the right to present themselves as presidential candidates at elections in this country".

"Let it be known that all citizens, like myself, have the right," he said.

"I want to state that we were not born as soldiers. No-one was ever born a soldier."

Business which failed to reduce prices would have their import licenses revoked, the military leader said.

Fiery-tempered

The BBC's Alhassan Sillah in the capital, Conakry, says the tension between politicians and the military leader stems from a rally by youths held in Conakry some two weeks ago.

At the rally, which took place barely a few hours after President Camara had accepted proposals by politicians and civil society groups for elections to be held by the end of this year, the youths urged the military leader to stay in office until 2010.

In recent days however, word has spread that the rally was in fact manipulated by the military authorities, our reporter says.

He says this rumour appears to have angered the fiery-tempered head of state.

Political watchers say his pronouncements yesterday could mark the beginning of an uncertain transition period.



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