Guinea's prime minister has said that parliamentary elections scheduled for June may have to be postponed.
Lansana Kouyate, who was appointed in February after widespread rioting kiled more than 120 people in the west African country, said that continuing insecurity might make it impossible to hold orderly elections.
"We are nearly in May already. If we organise elections under these conditions, it will be a rushed job. But it is not for me [alone] to decide on a postponement," Kouyate said on Saturday.
He said that the security situation was so bad in parts of the country that provincial governors were too afraid to travel.
"Territorial administration doesn't exist at the moment in the interior," he said.
Kouyate, a respected diplomat, was appointed as prime minister in February to end weeks of violent general strikes attempting to force Lansana Conte, the president, to resign.
"Because of people's anger during the strike, many prefects and sub-prefects are currently in Conakry. Some are even persona non grata in the areas they govern," Kouyate said.
Conte responded to the strikes by mobilising the country's army and imposing a curfew. In the subsequent fighting more than 120 people died.
Local human rights organisations said that most were killed by the security services.
Any decision to postpone the elections would have to be approved by the country's newly-created independent electoral commission.
But before the commission can formally begin work it has itself to be approved by the national assembly, which is dominated by supporters of Conte.