(Reuters) - The Guinean government signed an agreement with the opposition on Thursday, making concessions on two points of contention and raising hopes of a peaceful presidential election in October.
Government sources said the deal, reached after two months of negotiations, allows for more opposition representation in local administration and envisages reform of the elections commission.
"We needed to put an end to the political crisis and allow the organisation to hold a peaceful and inclusive presidential election," said Moustapha Koutoub Sano, one of the main government negotiators.
Guinea's opposition leader Cellou Dalein Diallo also welcomed the agreement, but added that it was up to the government to ensure it was implemented. "The government has a certain responsibility with regards to the opposition," he said.
Top African bauxite producer Guinea has a history of electoral violence. Anti-government demonstrations over the terms of the presidential vote in April and May led to at least six deaths, according to Amnesty International.
The West African country has not held local elections since 2002 and the opposition alleged that President Alpha Conde's Rally of the Guinean People (RPG) party had packed local constituencies with supporters, creating a structural bias.
As part of Thursday's agreement, the government pledged to give the opposition representation in 128 of Guinea's 343 districts. The government also proposed replacing two recently deceased members of the electoral commission with opposition candidates.