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Diallo Forms Alliance for Guinea Presidential Run-Off

Candidate for the Guinean presidency Cellou Dalein Diallo smiles to the crowd, 27 Jun 2010

Candidate for the Guinean presidency Cellou Dalein Diallo smiles to the crowd, 27 Jun 2010

The frontrunner in Guinea's first round of presidential elections has secured the support of a leading rival that could prove decisive in the run-off.

Former prime minister Cellou Dallein Diallo, led the first round of Guinea's landmark presidential poll with 43 percent of votes. In a run-off election, Diallo will face long-time opposition leader, Alpha Conde, who came in second in the first round with 18 percent of votes.

Another former prime minister, Sidya Toure, says he has joined Diallo's camp for the second round. Toure placed third in the first round with 13 percent. Observers say the alliance could secure a win for Diallo in the run-off.

Diallo says Toure and his party not only bring the votes they won in the first round, they also bring their experience and numerous talents. Diallo says no one doubts their competence or their commitment to furthering the development of Guinea.

Details of the negotiations between Diallo and Toure were not made public.

But Toure said he and his party, the Union of Republican Forces, had sought to align themselves with the candidate whose vision was most in line with their own and who could assure them of an active role in the implementation of that program.

Toure says that in this decision, he and his UFR party considered their desire to prevent conflict and confrontation between Guineans as a result of political differences. He says in choosing this alliance, the UFR priority was how best to bring about the social and economic development that Guinea needs.

Diallo has also secured the support of Ibrahima Abe Sylla, who came in sixth in the first round of voting.

The presidential poll is meant to return the country to civilian government after a military coup in December 2008. Many hope it will be the country's first free and fair presidential election since independence.

Despite logistical challenges, the first round of voting on June 27 was largely applauded by international observers.

Guinea's electoral commission has proposed August 14 as a possible date for the second round, but an official date has not been announced.