News / Africa

    Guinea’s New Electoral Commission Chief to Answer Fraud Charges

    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.
    Peter Clottey

    A human rights activist said the newly installed chairman of Guinea’s electoral commission will appear in court Thursday to answer charges of theft and electoral fraud during the 27th June first round presidential election.

    Attorney Thierno Balde, president of Guinea’s Research Institute on Democracy and the Rule of Law, a non-governmental organization, said supporters of former Prime Minister Cellou Dalein Diallo filed the lawsuit after accusing Lounceny Camara of vote rigging during the first round of Guinea’s presidential election.

    “According to them he (Camara) has hidden some of the minutes of the polling stations, which happened in one of the suburbs of Conakry, the capital of Guinea. He didn’t bring those minutes before not only the electoral commission, but also the Supreme Court. And it is one of the reasons that the Supreme Court has to cancel the votes received from (the area).”

    Lounceny Camara was installed as chairman of Guinea’s Independent Electoral Commission replacing Ben Sekou Sylla who recently died in a French hospital after receiving medical treatment for an undisclosed illness.

    Camera’s installment drew sharp criticism from supporters of leading presidential candidate Diallo who accused him of bias and being an avowed supporter of veteran opposition leader Alpha Conde.

    Guinea’s military junta announced late Tuesday 24th October as the new date for the second round for the presidential election after none of the presidential aspirants failed to win over 50 percent of the total votes required to win the first-round vote.

    Former Prime Minister Diallo won 43.69 percent while veteran opposition leader Alpha Conde came in second with 18.25 percent of the total votes.

    Analysts say tension is high after Diallo supporters threatened to boycott the 24th October presidential run-off if a neutral person is not chosen to lead the electoral body ahead of the vote.

    Attorney Balde said tension is still high over the installment of Camara as chairman of the electoral commission.

    “The civil society (and other groups)… came together and made a proposal and the idea is really to have one who can be considered as neutral. And the person who will replace Ben Sekou Sylla is Monsignor Vincent Gomez from the church (who) is known for his integrity and for his honesty.

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