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External Help Said to be Needed to End Guinea Stalemate

Guinean soldiers remove boxes filled with electoral materials from a warehouse on fire in a military camp in Conakry, 16 Sep 2010
Guinean soldiers remove boxes filled with electoral materials from a warehouse on fire in a military camp in Conakry, 16 Sep 2010

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  • Yousouff Sylla, a special adviser to Guinea's presidential candidate and former Prime Minister Cellou Dalein Diallo spoke with Clottey

Peter Clottey

A top official of the Union of Democratic Forces party in Guinea (UDFG) said Guineans feel betrayed by the transitional government for its failure to resolve the ongoing stalemate which he said threatens to derail the proposed 10th October round-off vote.

Yousouff Sylla, a special adviser to former Prime Minister Cellou Dalein Diallo called on the international community, including the African Union and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to help resolve the stalemate and pave way for the round-off vote.

“We are now at a stalemate and things are not moving as we expected. It’s now almost four months since the first round of elections went on. This is exceptionally too long. We feel that something has to be done to get things moving again and speed up the process. At this stage, we feel that we need an outside international intervention to help us,” he said.

Both rival parties, the Rally of the Guinean People (RPG) party, led by veteran opposition leader Alpha Conde and the UDFG led by former Prime Minister Diallo are deadlocked over who should head Guinea’s Independent Electoral Commission that would organize the presidential run-off vote.

The new head of the electoral commission will replace Ben Sekou Sylla, who died recently in a French hospital, where he was receiving medical treatment for an undisclosed illness.

Military ruler General Sekouba Konate has reportedly been unable to resolve the impasse so far despite repeated talks with the two rival parties.

Adviser Sylla said the interim leader needs outside assistance to resolve the stalemate.

“He (Sekouba Konate) is subject to a number of pressures from groups and therefore it’s not easy for him to make the right decision. I think he needs some help,” Sylla said.

None of the political parties garnered over 50 percent required to win the 27th June first round presidential election. Guinea’s constitution only allows the two leading candidates to participate in the run-off vote.

The electoral commission has so far proposed 10th October as the new date for the run-off but, military ruler Konate is reportedly yet to officially receive the document from the electoral body.

Adviser Sylla said Guineans are tired of not knowing when the presidential election run-off will be held.

“We need the international community, especially ECOWAS and the African Union to act very quickly and help us get this process moving again and get it accelerated,” Sylla said.

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