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Concern over Post-Election Insecurity in Guinea Grows

  • Peter Clottey

A former presidential candidate is concerned about growing insecurity in Guinea after former prime minister and candidate Cellou Dalein Diallo threatened Sunday to reject the final results of last week’s presidential run-off election.

Abe Sylla, leader of the New Generation for the Republic party, told VOA the country could be plunged into “chaos and instability” if supporters of any of the two rival candidates feel they have been robbed of victory in the run-off vote.

“What transpired after the second round is we noticed wrong voting cards, the creating of virtual voting booths and all kinds of massive voter fraud. There were two cities where they had tribal war between the two major candidates, and that is where the major problem is today because one of the leading candidates is asking for annulment of the results of (those) cities.”

Sylla also expressed hope that the controversy surrounding the final results could be resolved “quickly, so the whole country won’t be ablaze into ethnic or civil war.”

At a news conference Sunday, Diallo said he will not accept results of the vote if they include counts from the cities of Siguiri and Kouroussa. His party alleges that fraud and intimidation in those districts affected the final results.

The electoral commission is scheduled to release final results of the presidential run-off vote Monday. But, Diallo's party announced it has suspended participation in the process of counting of votes cast in last week's election.

Sylla said there is a need for the electoral commission to investigate the alleged voter irregularities before announcing the final results.

“The problem is that they just rush to (release) the results even though they have the proof in their hands and they say, ‘Okay, let somebody else handle that.’ That is not a way to handle it because, eventually, you will create a problem right away. So, why not verify it and make sure it’s all clear. It will only take a matter of days, (so you) don’t know what the rush it.”

Pre-election violence in Siguiri and Kouroussa drove thousands of people of Diallo's ethnic group, known as the Peul or Fulani, from their homes. Diallo's party says that depressed his vote total and prevented the party from sending observers to all polling stations in the area.

Partial results announced Friday showed Diallo holding a small lead over his rival, Alpha Conde, with about half the ballots counted.

Earlier, the head of the election commission, General Siaka Sangare, said Guineans will soon know “the name of the man who will preside over the country's destiny.” Diallo, Conde and Guinea's military leaders have urged Guineans to remain calm and not to engage in any violence.