News / Africa

Party Official Concerned About Proposed Guinea Vote Date

Candidate for the Guinean  presidency Cellou Dalein Diallo smiles to the crowd, 27 Jun 2010
Candidate for the Guinean presidency Cellou Dalein Diallo smiles to the crowd, 27 Jun 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 senior member of the Union of Democratic Forces in Guinea (UDFG) has expressed concern that the newly proposed date for that country’s presidential run-off vote will disenfranchise many Guineans.

Yousouff Sylla, a special adviser to former Prime Minister and leading presidential candidate, Cellou Dalein Diallo also called on the transitional government to improve the security situation in the country before the much-delayed poll.

“As you know, in places like Siguiri, Kissidugu… many of the Fulani people have been forced to leave the city because they have been attacked. Their shops have been attacked and looted and therefore, they have been moving to the Fulani areas. So, it is going to be very difficult for these people on Sunday to participate in the voting process,” he said.

Sylla also accused the transitional administration of failing to address the concerns of most Guineans about reported voter irregularities ahead of the proposed date.

Guinea's Independent electoral commission has proposed Sunday, 31st October, as the new date for the country's presidential run-off vote.

The poll has been delayed three times since July -- most recently last week -- because of political disputes, logistical problems and election-related violence.

Commission Chief General Siaka Toumany Sangare said Tuesday that he had proposed the new date to Guinea's transitional government. Acting President General Sekouba Konate will have to approve the new date.

Sangare was picked to head the electoral commission last week after Mr. Diallo objected to the previous chief, who he said favored Mr. Conde.

The election is meant to return Guinea to civilian rule after decades of dictatorship and nearly two years of a military junta.

If Guinea holds the vote Sunday, it would join three other African countries, along with Ivory Coast and Tanzania that will be holding presidential elections that same day,

Special adviser Sylla expressed concern that the country could be plunged into crisis if people are prevented from voting because of the newly proposed date.

“I’m really worried because it seems to me that the transitional authority does not understand that being neutral does not mean that you are not going to be a referee. If something is wrong, you need to fix it and you cannot just (standby) and do nothing and expect things to work out very well. You need to fix things.”

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