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Vote Rigging Allegation Mars Guinea Election Results

  • Peter Clottey

Guinea's leading presidential candidate Cellou Dalein Diallo at the People's Hall in Conakry, Guinea, 21 Sep 2010

Guinea's leading presidential candidate Cellou Dalein Diallo at the People's Hall in Conakry, Guinea, 21 Sep 2010

A human rights activist told VOA Guinea’s electoral commission has not been able to resolve vote rigging claims in two different cities during that country’s presidential run-off vote despite a late night meeting between the rival parties.

Thierno Balde, president of Guinea’s Research Institute on Democracy and the Rule of Law, a non-governmental organization, said former Prime Minister Cellou Dalein Diallo is scheduled to hold a news conference Thursday to formerly complain about vote rigging at two polling stations.

“There are issues with two of the polling stations in two cities in Kouroussa and Siguri. According to the UFDG (Union of Democratic Forces of Guinea) of (party) president Cellou Dalein Diallo, there have been ballots which are more than the number of registered voters in the ballot. And, they are asking those two polling (stations) not to be taken into account in the final (results),” he said.

Diallo supporters say the electoral commission should cancel results from the polling stations. But, partisans of main challenger Alpha Conde dismissed the allegations as without merit.

Balde said the controversy could undermine the integrity of the vote.

“The party of Professor Alpha Conde, RPG (Democratic Forces of Guinea), is saying that those arguments are not justified and that those two polling (stations) should be taken into account. So, the issues are not resolved yet,” said Balde.

“There are discussions going on right now within the CNE (electoral commission) to find out how they could bring together the two parties and find a solution to the issue. But, it has not been resolved, yet.”

Balde also said that there is a need for the electoral commission to investigate the allegation before releasing the final results of the 7th November presidential vote.

Meanwhile, the latest results of the presidential run-off show Diallo has widened his lead.

The election was intended to return Guinea to civilian rule after decades of dictatorship and a two-year military junta. In the first round of voting in June, Diallo beat 23 other candidates with 44 percent of the vote. Conde finished in second place with 18 percent.

Sunday's run-off had been postponed four times due to violence, political disputes and logistical problems and the campaign took part in an atmosphere of ethnic tension.

Diallo belongs to the Fulani, Guinea's largest ethnic group, while Conde comes from the smaller Malinke community.

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