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Page last updated at 14:39 GMT, Monday, 24 August 2009 15:39 UK

Guinea leader 'may contest poll'

Military leader Captain Moussa Dadis Camara
Capt Camara said his critics did not understand democracy

The army officer who seized power in a coup in Guinea has refused to rule out standing for president - despite an earlier promise he would not.

Capt Moussa Dadis Camara told the AFP news agency that nobody could stop him from standing if he wanted to.

It came after the opposition had urged people to resist any attempts by the coup leader to stay in power.

He took power last December after the country's president died and vowed to stand down after a transitional phase.

In recent weeks he announced an election would be held in January 2010.

In the build-up to the announcement there had been speculation that he intended to run for election.

I have still not made up my mind so they should keep quiet, otherwise they are going to lose everything
Capt Camara

Capt Camara's supporters even formed a group called Dadis Must Stay backing his right to stand.

But this weekend opposition groups hit back with their own campaign calling on him to step down when elections are held.

They issued a statement urging people to reject what they called his "confiscation of power".

In response, Capt Camara told AFP the "pompous attitude" of the opposition leaders proved they were not ready to govern the country.

"They are not really on top of things and no longer know which way to turn," he said.

"I have still not made up my mind so they should keep quiet, otherwise they are going to lose everything."

He said his opponents "don't understand anything about democracy".

"I have nothing more to say, except that I might or might not stand. No-one can stop me," he said.

Capt Camara's rule has been characterised by eccentric displays of power - such as forcing members of the elite presidential guard to beg for forgiveness on national TV after they roughed up a veteran officer.

Several former aides and officials have been accused of corruption and links to the drugs trade, including the son of former President Lansana Conte, who was shown confessing on TV to smuggling cocaine.



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