News / Africa

Guinea Presidential Campaign Suspended Over Violence

Guinea's acting president General Sekouba Konate, left, speaks with Prime Minister of the transitional government Jean Marie Dore during the inauguration ceremony of Camp Boiro in Conakry, (file photo)
Guinea's acting president General Sekouba Konate, left, speaks with Prime Minister of the transitional government Jean Marie Dore during the inauguration ceremony of Camp Boiro in Conakry, (file photo)

Guinea's electoral commission has suspended campaigning after clashes between rival supporters before the final round of presidential elections scheduled for this coming Sunday. 

Guinea's electoral commission has provisionally suspended campaigning pending the outcome of talks with both candidates, following two days of violence in the capital, Conakry.

Interim Prime Minister Jean-Marie Dore called an emergency Cabinet meeting and vowed to prosecute anyone who violates that ban by holding demonstrations.  Mr. Dore is expected to meet separately with former prime minister Cello Diallo and his electoral rival Alpha Conde in hopes of finding a way to keep the electoral timetable on track.

Police used tear gas to break up rival demonstrations by Diallo and Conde supporters Saturday and Sunday.  The groups clashed following last week's conviction of two senior electoral officials accused of falsifying results from June's first round of voting.

Conde's party brought the charges against the electoral commission president and his head of planning, who were found guilty of withholding results from some polling stations.  Diallo's party says the court decision is aimed at disrupting the electoral commission and delaying the second round of voting, in which Diallo is seen as the frontrunner.

Makale Traoré is Conde's campaign director.

Traore says Conde was surrounded at party headquarters by militants from other parties and the government had to send soldiers to free him.  She says one of her party's supporters was shot dead and another was injured.  Traore says it is useless to throw oil on the fire.  She says Conde's party wants to campaign peacefully.

Saliou Diallo is communications director for Diallo's party.

Diallo says the violence is unbelievable.  He says it is coming from people who do not want this election to happen and are trying to disrupt the process. Diallo says the violence is not coming from his party because they want the vote to take place on the 19th.  Some people are accusing Diallo's party of starting the violence, but he says, on the contrary, they are the victims.

Diallo is from the Peul ethnic group, which make up about 40 percent of Guinea's population. Conde is from the Malinke ethnic group, which make up about one-third of the population.  So violence between the two groups has far wider potential consequences, especially in a country that is trying to end nearly two years of military rule.

Speaking to reporters before the violence, the head of the European Union mission to Guinea, Alexander Lambsdorff urged both candidates to refrain from electoral rhetoric that antagonizes opponents.

Lambsdorff says it is not correct to have inflammatory speeches, speeches that use community aspects to inflame the situation.  He says these are unfounded accusations concerning the opposite camp and are things that would enrage their supporters.

Voter Mamadou Diallo says choosing a president should be bigger than ethnicity.

Diallo says voters in Guinea should avoid certain discussions because they will all meet again after the elections. Diallo says Guineans should forget hatred and ethnocentrism.

Voter Abdoulaye Daffe says supporting your candidate should not mean insulting his opponent.

Because there are only two candidates left, he says voters should not create arguments between themselves.  He says people should know how to protect their future.  If you are for someone, he says, you can support them as you like without provoking other people.

Voter Amara Soumah says it is up to Guinea's voters to ensure a peaceful election.

Soumah says it is up to us.  There will not be any violence if voters do not want violence, and that should be avoided at all costs.  Soumah says people in Guinea should accept the verdict of the polls because the one who wins will be the president of all the country.

In its announcement suspending the campaign, the electoral commission said that decision would not delay Sunday's scheduled vote.  But the rules for this election give both candidates 14 days to campaign before the polls.  So their time will either be cut short or the vote will be postponed.

You May Like

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends More

Obesity Poses Complex Problem

Professor warns of obesity’s worldwide health impact More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam Wari
X
Katherine Gypson
May 25, 2015 1:32 AM
For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.
Video

Video Scientists Testing Space Propulsion by Light

Can the sun - the heart of our solar system - power a spacecraft to the edge of our solar system? The answer may come from a just-launched small satellite designed to test the efficiency of solar sail propulsion. Once deployed, its large sail will catch the so-called solar wind and slowly reach what scientists hope to be substantial speed. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video FIFA Trains Somali Referees

As stability returns to the once lawless nation of Somalia, the world football governing body, FIFA, is helping to rebuild the country’s sport sector by training referees as well as its young footballers. Abdulaziz Billow has more from Mogadishu.
Video

Video With US Child Obesity Rates on the Rise, Program Promotes Health Eating

In its fifth year, FoodCorps puts more than 180 young Americans into 500 schools across the United States, where they focus on teaching students about nutrition, engaging them with hands-on activities, and improving their access to healthy foods whether in the cafeteria or the greater community. Aru Pande has more.
Video

Video Virginia Neighborhood Draws People to Nostalgic Main Street

In the U.S., people used to grow up in small towns with a main street lined by family-owned shops and restaurants. Today, however, many main streets are worn down and empty because shoppers have been lured away by shopping malls. But in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, main street is thriving. VOA’s Deborah Block reports it has a nostalgic feel with its small restaurants and unique stores.

VOA Blogs