Army Seizes Power After Guinea's Dictator Dies
Military suspends the constitution
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 23, 2008 6:00 AM CST
Lansana Conte, who ruled Guinea with an iron hand since seizing power nearly a quarter century ago, died following a lengthy illness today.   (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)
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(Newser) – Guinea's army has dissolved the African nation's government and seized power just hours after the death of its longtime dictatorial president, Lansana Conte. "As of today, the constitution is suspended, as well as political and union activity," said a military commander in a radio address. The capital was peaceful and there were no troops in the streets, said a BBC correspondent in Conakry.

Conte had ruled Guinea with increasing brutality since 1984. Although he won three elections, they were widely deemed unfair. He suffered from diabetes, and his death had been expected for some time, although the exact circumstances remain unclear. The army has said it will install a military president and a civilian prime minister who will lead a multi-ethnic government.