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Burkinabe President Tries to Mediate Differences between Guinea’s Presidential Candidates

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  • Thierno Balde, President of Guinea’s Research Institute on Democracy and the Rule of Law spoke with Clottey

Peter Clottey

The president of Guinea’s Research Institute on Democracy and Rule of Law, a non-governmental organization, says  Burkinabe President Blaise Compaore is mediating talks between Guinea’s two presidential candidates.

Attorney Thierno Balde said the ongoing talks are aimed at preventing violence, as well as resolving all outstanding issues, ahead of the September 19 second round presidential vote.

“When President Blaise Compaore came to visit General Sekouba Konate two weeks ago, they agreed that he will invite the two leading candidates to Ouagadougou to hold talks and to agree on the process which will lead to the elections on September 19th,” he said.

Backed by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), President Compaore is helping Guinea’s efforts to return to constitutional rule.

There has been reported tension between the two presidential aspirants and their supporters during campaigns ahead of the vote.

Long time opposition leader Alpha Conde accused some members of the electoral commission of violating the country’s electoral code and demanded their removal ahead of the vote.

Former Prime Minister Cellou Dalein Diallo also accused Mr. Conde of having an agreement with the transitional Prime Minister, Jean-Marie Dore, to help manipulate the results of the vote.

Attorney Balde said the presidential candidates are expected to sign an agreement after the talks pledging to use legal means, not violence, to address their concerns over the results of the September vote.

“According to close [aides] of the two candidates, the idea is to have an agreement between them so that, when the elections will be organized, both of them will accept the results. And that, if they have any issue, they will use the legal means and, that no matter what happens, they will avoid using violence as a means of expressing their views,” Balde said.

He said officials in the transitional government have announced that they have been able to resolve the controversial issues surrounding the first round of voting to ensure a better second round.

International poll observers have concluded the June 27 first round 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.

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