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Guinea’s Prime Minister Backs off Involvement in Presidential Run-Off

  • Peter Clottey

The president of Guinea’s Research Institute on Democracy and Rule of Law, a non-governmental organization, said the prime minister seems to have backed off support of controversial amendments in both the constitution and the electoral code ahead of the 19th September second round presidential vote.

Attorney Thierno Balde said Guineans are sharply opposed to the amendments describing them as a constitutional coup d’état which he said is aimed at hijacking the run-off election.

“Guineans are determined not to allow any modification or amendments of the constitution and the electoral code. They will like to really go ahead to organize the second round of the election and really get on with the electoral process,” he said.

Attorney Balde said there were reported meetings between President Sekouba Konate and Prime Minister Jean-Marie Dore about the possibility of reviewing the constitution, as well as the electoral code, ahead of the vote.

Prime Minister Dore wanted a change in the electoral code to enable him participate in organizing the run-off alongside the electoral commission.

Supporters of Cellou Dalein Diallo, who had the most votes in the 27th June first round election, accuse the prime minister of attempting to rig the second round in favor of long time opposition leader Alpha Conde.

But, the prime minister dismissed the accusation saying he has no preferred choice among the two presidential aspirants.

Guinea’s Independent Electoral Commission is mandated by the constitution to organize elections in the country.

International poll observer groups said the 27th June vote was credible despite isolated reports of voter irregularities. It was Guinea’s first democratic vote since the country gained its independence in 1958 from France.

But, Attorney Balde said the electoral body is capable of organizing the run-off vote without any help despite claims by the prime minister that the electoral body is incapable of organizing it.

“According to him (the prime minister), the electoral commission does not have the capability to organize this election without the assistance of the Ministry of Interior, meaning the local authorities…in the country,” Balde said.