News / Africa

Another Delay Possible in Guinea Run-Off

Burkina Faso President Blaise Compaore, right, greets Guinea presidential frontrunner Cellou Dalein Diallo, as he meets with members of the transitional government and presidential candidates at the People's Palace in Conakry, Guinea (file photo – 03 Aug.
Burkina Faso President Blaise Compaore, right, greets Guinea presidential frontrunner Cellou Dalein Diallo, as he meets with members of the transitional government and presidential candidates at the People's Palace in Conakry, Guinea (file photo – 03 Aug.

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Anne Look

Guinea could miss a proposed October 10th poll date for its presidential run-off, thanks to candidate disputes.

As Guineans remember the more than 150 people killed one year ago in a military attack on an opposition protest in Conakry, the country continues to struggle to emerge from almost two years of political crisis.

Guinea is in the middle of a landmark presidential poll meant to return the country to civilian government after a military coup in December 2008.

Electoral dispute

The first round was held on June 27, but efforts to organize a run-off between the two top-scoring candidates have stalled, due to fraud accusations, street violence, and most recently disagreement over the newly appointed electoral-commission head.

Presidential candidate, Cellou Dallein Diallo, protested the naming of Louceny Camara as head of the electoral commission last week, saying Camara supports rival candidate, Alpha Conde. Guinea's interim president has therefore not been able to confirm an October 10th poll date, proposed by the electoral commission.

Examine the situation

The head of Guinea's National Transition Council, Hadja Rabiatou Sera Diallo, met with members of government Monday in Conakry to discuss the situation.

Diallo says they examined the internal rules of the electoral commission, the country's electoral code and the constitution, and prepared an assessment and recommendations to get the country out of crisis. She says they will present this analysis to interim president, General Sekouba Konate. The final decision, she says, belongs to him.

The proposal prepared during Monday's meeting was not made public.

Diallo has also met with both candidates in the hopes of mediating the disagreement.

Find a way to resolve crisis

She says on Monday, she and members of government were not discussing how to organize elections, but rather how to get Guinea out of crisis. She says they were not motivated by color, race or political affiliation. She says it is Guinea that concerns them, and therefore she says they can not be part of any efforts to slow down the electoral process that must move forward.

The run-off was originally set for September 19, but was postponed just days before the vote, partly for technical reasons. Campaigning had been suspended two days earlier, after street violence between the two candidates' supporters left one dead and 50 wounded. The violence followed the conviction of two senior Guinea electoral officials for fraud during the first round of voting.

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