Guinea's opposition 'disappointed' by talks with president

Guinea's opposition leader Cellou Dalein Diallo (R) meets with president Alpha Conde (L) on May 20, 2015 at the presidential palace in Conakry (AFP Photo/Cellou Binani)

Conakry (AFP) - Guinea's opposition leader said on Wednesday he was "disappointed" by talks with President Alpha Conde aimed at ending a political deadlock which has led to deadly nationwide protests.

Cellou Dalein Diallo had been summoned to the presidential palace in Conakry after weeks of clashes between anti-government activists and security forces on the streets of the west African nation's largest towns and cities.

"I was the only one who did any talking. I was disappointed that we didn't have a proper exchange. I expected better than this," Cellou Dalein Diallo told AFP after the meeting.

Diallo said he had been asked about the grievances of the opposition and responded by complaining about unelected officials installed by the government running local authorities across the country.

The presidency put a rather more positive spin on the meeting, describing it in a statement as being "based on the resumption of political dialogue".

Talks had focused on elections, the fight against religious fundamentalism and the peace process in neighbouring Mali, it said.

"The president's role is to listen to each of the parties to find a consensus. These periodic meetings allow the president to maintain contacts with the political class," his spokesman was quoted as saying.

Guinea's opposition is demanding local elections ahead of a presidential vote due in October, but has accused Conde of refusing the request because he wants to keep his cronies in local administrations, to help him rig the October vote.

The president denies the claims, arguing that local officials will not be involved in the presidential polls.

Two weeks of violent confrontations in April left several people dead and dozens wounded in the capital Conakry as well as several provincial towns.