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Guinea - Government

The behavior of citizen, enterprises and administrations is still strongly influenced by widely generalized bad governance practices. These practices blighted the First Republic, with an omnipresent State, as well as the second Republic with the progressive decline of the authority of the State and, finally, the military transition. With the Third Republic, a rigorous framework for good governance, with an adequate system of positive and negative sanction, should progressively restore the traditional moral values of Guinean society.

Until 1984 the country was still governed under the Constitution that had been enacted immediately after independence in 1958, making it the second oldest constitutional system on the African continent. Guinea arrived at independence as a self-governing territory of the French Union. Colonial control had gradually decreased after World War II as French interest in holding onto a vast colonial empire declined. In West Africa most powers had been placed in the hands of local Africans in conformity with the loi-cadre (enabling act) passed by the government of France on June 23, 1956. In Guinea during the first half of 1957 the popularly elected Territorial Assembly of sixty members was created as the sole controller of most legislative issues. Its members chose the twelve-member ministerial council called the Council of Government with Skou Tour as its head. He was the leader of the PDG, which had already come to dominate the country's political life and which had won fifty-seven of the assembly's sixty seats.

The presidency is endowed with broad powers by the Constitution, and President Tour not only has exercised these to the fullest but has gone well beyond them. He not only controlled the executive but also dominated the legislative and the judicial branches of the government.

Until the December 23, 2008 coup dtat, Guinea was a constitutional republic in which effective power was concentrated in a strong presidency. Legislative elections, previously scheduled for June 2007, have been repeatedly delayed. The government currently is controlled by a military junta and is operating without a legislative body. Government administration is carried out at several levels; in descending order, they are: eight regions, 33 prefectures, over 100 subprefectures, and many districts (known as communes in Conakry and other large cities, and villages or "quartiers" in the interior). District-level leaders are elected; the president appoints officials to all other levels of the highly centralized administration. The interim president of the military junta governed Guinea with the assistance of a civilian prime minister.

The military junta was represented by a National Council for Democracy and Development. Although outside of the country, Captain Moussa Dadis Camara remained the president of the CNDD and the self-proclaimed head of state while General Konate assumed the title of interim President of the Republic. The CNDD suspended the constitution, as well as political and union activity.

In December 2009 a failed assassination attempt rendered Camara medically unable to lead the country. Camara's sudden departure led to the installation of a transition government on January 15, pursuant to the Ouagadougou Accord, which called for a return to civilian rule by mid-2010. The Accord was signed by Burkinabe President Blaise Campaore (mediator from the Economic Community of West African States), former interim president Konate, and Captain Dadis Camara, who was recuperating in Burkina Faso.

With the signing of the January 15 Ouagadougou Accords, General Konate signaled his intent to establish a transition government under the leadership of a civilian prime minister and to organize elections within six months. In late January, Konate appointed opposition leader Jean Marie Dore prime minister.

Konate appointed opposition political leader Jean-Marie Dore as Prime Minister in January and Dore officially appointed his cabinet on February 15. On February 16, Dore appointed a National Transitional Council (CNT) as the country's legislative body. Twenty-four ministers of the 34-member cabinet were civilians. The remaining 10 positions were military officers appointed by the CNDD.

The constitution remained suspended, but political and union activity was allowed. Guinea had more than 100 registered political parties, of which six were represented in the National Assembly before it was suspended in December 2008. The CNT, which had equal representation from civil society, political parties, and the former junta regime, promulgated a new constitution on 19 April 2010 and approved on 07 May 2010.

In June and November 2010 the country held two rounds of presidential elections which resulted in the election of longtime opposition leader Alpha Conde, the candidate of the Rally of the Guinean People Party (RPG). In December, Conde was inaugurated as the country's first democratically elected president since independence from France in 1958. While the elections were generally regarded as free and fair, the second round was accompanied by widespread violence.

The executive power is vested with the President of the Republic who is elected for five years renewable once and a Prime Minister. He is the head of the army and exercises exceptional authorities. He can submit to referendum bills in limitedly determined areas for adoption. He can take the initiative of bills to be submitted to the parliament and the constitutional review. He appoints and dismisses Ministers and other administrative officials; determines and conducts general policies of the nation. He has at his disposal the authority of regulation He can dissolve the National Assembly once certain conditions are met.

The Prime Minister, the Head of the Government, is appointed by the President of the Republic and can be revoked by the same. The Prime Minister is responsible of leading, supervising, coordinating and impelling the actions of Government of which he proposes the structure to the President of the Republic.

The legislative power is exercised in Guinea by the National Assembly (Assemble Nationale), whose members are called Deputes. Members of Assembly are elected through universal suffrage for five years renewable. In the National Assembly, 38 members are elected by plurality vote in single-member constituencies to serve 5-year terms and 76 members are elected through a closed-list proportional representation system to serve 5-year terms. In the proportional tier, there is one nationwide district. The 76 Deputies are chosen by proportional representation and using a national electoral quotient (votes cast divided by 76) from a national list of candidates.

The new 2010 constitution and law provide for an independent judiciary; however, the judicial system lacked independence and was underfunded, inefficient, and overtly corrupt. Budget shortfalls, a shortage of qualified lawyers and magistrates, and an outdated and restrictive penal code limited the judiciary's effectiveness. The government largely ignored the judiciary.

The Guinean judicial system is broadly based on the French civil law system. There are three levels within the hierarchy of courts hearing cases involving crimes (as opposed to lesser offenses equivalent to misdemeanors [contraventions and dlits]). A first instance court for crimes is called cour dassises. Its decisions may be appealed to the cours dappel (appeals court) and finally to the Cour Suprme (Supreme Court). There are only two cours dassises and two cours dappel in Guinea, one each in Kankan and Conakry. The single Supreme Court sits in Conakry and has until now been the Supreme Court for all legal matters, including administrative, financial, and judicial. Guineas new constitution further provides for a constitutional council (conseil constitutionnel), audit court (cour des comptes), and judicial supreme court (cour de cassation).

The new 2010 constitution and law provided for the inviolability of the home and require judicial search warrants; however, police reportedly ignored legal procedures in the pursuit of criminals or when it served their personal interests. The new constitution and law provide for freedom of expression and of press; however, the transition government sometimes restricted these rights. Some journalists continued to practice self-censorship, although less so than in previous years.

Although the constitution and law provide for an independent judiciary, the judicial system lacked independence and was underfunded, inefficient, and overtly corrupt. Budget shortfalls, a shortage of qualified lawyers and magistrates, an outdated and restrictive penal code, nepotism, and ethnic bias limited the judiciarys effectiveness. As of 2012 the country had only 200 magistrates (judges, court reporters, and prosecutors). As a result, in the lowest courts in prefectural regions (Courts of the Peace), one person often acted as judge, prosecutor, and court reporter.

Regularly scheduled criminal trials with the Cour dAssises (High Crimes Court) resumed in 2012 after a seven-year suspension. The court, which is supposed to meet three times a year to try high crimes, had only met once since 2012. Domestic court orders often were not enforced. For example, some prisoners freed by the courts remained in prison because they could not pay exit fees to guards. On the other hand, politically connected criminals often escaped prosecution.

Many citizens, wary of judicial corruption or with no other choice, relied on traditional systems of justice at the village or urban neighborhood level. Litigants presented their civil cases before a village chief, a neighborhood leader, or a council of wise men. The dividing line between the formal and informal justice systems was vague, and authorities sometimes referred a case from the formal to the traditional system to assure compliance by all parties. Similarly, a case not resolved to the satisfaction of all parties in the traditional system could be referred to the formal system for adjudication. In the traditional system, evidence given by women carried less weight.

Although the law requires arrest warrants, police arrested many persons without warrants. The law also provides that detainees be charged before a magistrate within 48 hours, renewable once if authorized by a judge, but many detainees were held for longer periods. Authorities held most prisoners in the three main prisons indefinitely without trial. In cases involving national security, the law allows the length of time to be doubled to 96 hours, renewable once. The law precludes the arrest of persons in their homes between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m., but night arrests occurred.

GUINEA TODAY PRINCIPAL INSTITUTIONS The roles of these different institutions and their relationships are defined by the Basic Law, organic laws, ordinary laws and various regulatory texts. Constitutional institutions Constitutional institutions are those provided for by the Basic Law: the President of the Republic, the National Assembly, the Supreme Court, the High Court of Justice, the Economic and Social Council. The President of the Republic (Executive Power) The President of the Republic is elected by direct universal suffrage for a renewable term of seven years. The National Assembly (Legislative Power) The National Assembly consists of 114 deputies elected by direct universal suffrage, for a five-year term. Two-thirds are elected by national list, proportional representation and the third-party elected by the first-past-the-post system. The national assembly - Vote the laws, - Ruling on international agreements, conventions, - Controls the action of the Government, - Elects among its members the six titular judges to sit in the High Court of Justice and the four deputies, - Can empower the President of the Republic to take measures that fall within the scope of the law, for a given period and for objectives that it specifies. The Supreme Court (Judiciary) The members of the Supreme Court are appointed by the President of the Republic. The Supreme Court : - Judge of the constitutionality of international laws and commitments, in other words their conformity with the constitution, - Judge of the excess of power of the Authorities, - Decides on the powers in cassation against the judgments and judgments rendered in the last resort by the courts of first instance and the Justices of the peace, - Judge in first and last resort appeals against the acts of the President of the Republic, - Validates national elections, - Receives the oath of the President of the Republic and observes its impediment, - Judge the accounts of public accountants. The High Court of Justice The High Court of Justice is a special court composed of: - A president elected by the General Assembly of the Supreme Court, - Of 6 titular judges and 4 deputies elected from the Deputies of the National Assembly. The High Court of Justice has jurisdiction to try the President of the Republic in cases of high treason and members of the Government for crimes and misdemeanors committed in the exercise of their functions. The Economic and Social Council The Economic and Social Council comprises 45 members chosen from among persons whose skills or activities contribute effectively to the economic and social development of the nation. The Economic and Social Council is an advisory body. It participates in the design of the economic and social policies of the government. The Economic and Social Council gives its opinions, suggestions and recommendations on the questions submitted to it by the President of the Republic or the National Assembly, promotes by its opinions the collaboration of the various socio-professional categories among themselves and ensures their participation in the Design of the economic and social policy of the government. It is responsible for examining draft economic and social decrees submitted to it, with the exception of the Finance Acts, and must be consulted on bills of economic and social plans and programs. They are appointed by the decree of the President of the Republic. Its office is 6 members, which, with the exception of its president elected for 5 years, is renewable every 2 years. The High Authority for Communication was established, in accordance with the provisions of Articles 7 and 125 of the Constitution of May 2010, in place of the National Communication Council. In accordance with Articles 6 and 7 of Organic Law L 2010/003 / CNT of 23 June 2010 on the allocation, organization, composition and functioning of the High Authority for Communication, its implementation was made on 10 March 2015. In compliance with Articles 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 of Organic Law L03 / CNT of 23 June 2010, the HAC is responsible for ensuring compliance with the rules of transparency and pluralism of the press. Of the obligations imposed by the laws and regulations governing communications. Its mission is to ensure: Respect for the principle of equality of users of communications; Respect for plurality, the expression of currents of thought and opinion in services Public communications; Compliance with provisions on the creation, intellectual property and management of press undertakings. The respect by the public and private press of the obligations laid down by the laws and regulations governing communication; Compliance with the provisions of Law L / 2010/03 / CNT of 23 June 2010 on the functions, organization, composition and functioning of the High Authority for Communication and those of the specifications and agreements governing the communication sector. HAC is an advocacy body for the right of citizens to information. It has a role of support and mediation in order to avoid abusive government control of the media on the one hand; On the other, to avoid anyone's manipulation of public opinion through the media.

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