News / Africa

Guinea Authorities Uncover Plot to Destablize Election

Guinean authorities say they have uncovered a plot to destabilize the second round of voting in the presidential election meant to return the country to civilian government.

Guinea Prime Minister Jean Marie Dore said Saturday that authorities had uncovered what they suspect was an armed plot to disrupt the second round of voting in country's landmark presidential election.

Addressing the army, Colonel Nouhou Thiam said those responsible have been arrested and are talking to authorities about their plans to disrupt the second round of voting. He says they were young. He says they are being held in good conditions. Colonel Thiam says the winner of the elections will emerge democratically. He says if you are in the army and want to engage in politics, abandon your uniform because the army must remain neutral.

The presidential poll is intended to return the country to civilian government, after a military coup in December 2008. Members of the military and the transitional government organizing the elections were barred from running.

Colonel Thiam called for soldiers to remain committed to their mission during the transition process.

Colonel Thiam says soldiers must remain vigilant and not give people the opportunity to create problems that would cast blame on the military. He says, even now, there are some in the military who try to divide and poison the rest, despite leader's efforts to unify and educate soldiers.

The first round of voting took place June 27. Provisional results gave former prime minister, Cellou Dallein Diallo, about 40 percent of the vote and long-time opposition leader Alpha Conde just more than 20 percent.

If the results are confirmed by the Supreme Court, the two top-scoring candidates will be in a run-off election two weeks after the court's decision.

Guinea's Supreme Court is considering challenges to first-round results brought by some of the 24 presidential candidates, who have said voting irregularities and fraud attempts undermined the election.

A new Guinean commission plans to meet this week to issue recommendations for the second round. The commission brings together members of the country's National Transition Council, electoral commission, government ministries and a special election security force.

The commission said it would look at putting in place better-trained polling station personnel to prevent procedural flaws like those noted in the first round.

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