April 30, 2015 / 10:56 AM / 2 years ago

Guinea's Conde appoints moderate opposition to cabinet

CONAKRY (Reuters) - Guinea's President Alpha Conde appointed a moderate opposition leader to head the west African nation's industry ministry on Wednesday, amid protests by the opposition over the organization of presidential elections this year.

Boubacar Barry, a former minister and candidate in the 2010 presidential poll, was appointed in a cabinet reshuffle that saw several ministers change jobs, Guinea state television said late on Wednesday. No reasons were given for the reshuffle.

Guinea's main opposition leaders began rolling protests this month to pressure Conde to hold local elections before a presidential election planned for October in the iron ore-, bauxite-, and diamond-rich nation.

The opposition says it will stand a better chance of performing strongly in the presidential poll if it has its own officials in place after regional elections. At present, local government is dominated by government-appointed officials.

At least three people have been killed during several days of violent protests this month. The demonstrations were suspended to allow for dialogue between the parties, but the opposition has said it plans to resume protests on May 4.

Reporting by Saliou Samb; Writing by Bate Felix; Editing by Daniel Flynn

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