News / Africa

UN Calls for Calm as Guinea Election Postponed

The United Nations is calling for calm in Guinea after the suspension of campaigning and the postponement of presidential elections following violence between supporters of the two remaining candidates.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is calling on voters in Guinea to stay calm amid uncertainty over a second round of presidential elections that have been postponed without the announcement of a new date.

In a written statement, the Secretary General warns those who may attempt to disrupt an orderly and peaceful transition that they would be held accountable by Guineans and by the international community as a whole.

This vote was delayed, in part, because of two days of violence between supporters of former prime minister Cellou Diallo and long-time opposition leader Alpha Conde that killed one person and injured at least 50. The electoral commission suspended campaigning last Sunday after police used tear gas to break up those clashes.

The violence followed the conviction of two senior electoral officials accused of falsifying results from June's first round of voting.

Conakry's military governor Sekou Resco Camara told a meeting of local leaders that security forces will not allow that violence to be repeated. Camara said military patrols are now conducting a neighborhood-by-neighborhood search for illegal weapons in the capital because of last Sunday's violence.

But it is not just the political violence that is delaying this presidential run-off. The electoral commission is still awaiting delivery of 450,000 new polling cards that are scheduled to arrive Sunday or Monday.

The process is further complicated by the destruction of an untold number of voter cards and ballot papers in a fire at an electoral commission warehouse Thursday. Authorities say the  fire was started accidentally by an electrician.

The electoral commission was to meet with interim prime minister Jean-Marie Dore Thursday to announce a new date for the vote, but that meeting never happened. So both candidates await not only the resumption of campaigning but an election date toward which to campaign.

Makale Traore is Conde's campaign manager. Traore said it is not a question of an election date. What is important is that Conde's party wants to organize elections in Guinea that, for the first time in history, are transparent. Traore says delaying the poll will give voters more confidence in its eventual outcome.

Traore says the entire world has seen the irregularities in the first round of the electoral process, so Conde's party is insisting on certain conditions before the second round.

Among those conditions are additional polling stations in rural areas where some people had to travel too far to vote in the first round. The electoral commission is expanding the number of rural polling stations in consultation with both candidates, and that too is delaying the process.

Diallo is seen as the front-runner in this second round, having won more than 40 percent of the first-round vote compared to Conde's less than 20 percent. Diallo says electoral delays may discourage private sector investment in mining, which is Guinea's main source of foreign currency.

Diallo said everyone in Guinea should act democratically. They have all fought for people to be able to choose their leaders. But going into such a competition, Diallo says candidates should accept the fact that they might lose. And if they do, they should accept the results.

Acting military ruler General Sekouba Konate has been trying to return Guinea to civilian rule nearly two years after Captain Moussa Dadis Camara took power in a military coup. General Konate has reaffirmed his support for the electoral process and says the military will support whoever emerges as the winner.

You May Like

Sydney Hostage-taker Failed to Manipulate Social Media

Gunman forced captives to use personal Facebook, YouTube accounts to issue his demands; online community helped flag messages, urged others not to share them More

UN Seeks $8.4 Billion to Help War-Hit Syrians

Effort aimed at helping Syrians displaced within their own country and those who've fled to neighboring ones More

Who Are the Pakistani Taliban?

It's an umbrella group of militant organizations whose objective is enforcement of Sharia in Pakistan 'whether through peace or war' 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.
Putin: Russian Economy to Rebound in 2 Yearsi
X
December 18, 2014 5:13 PM
Russian President Vladimir Putin held his annual end-of-the-year news conference Thursday, tackling questions on the Russian economy, the crisis in Ukraine and Russian relations with the west. VOA's Jeff Custer reports.
Video

Video Putin: Russian Economy to Rebound in 2 Years

Russian President Vladimir Putin held his annual end-of-the-year news conference Thursday, tackling questions on the Russian economy, the crisis in Ukraine and Russian relations with the west. VOA's Jeff Custer reports.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?

The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video Turkey's Authoritarianism Dismays Western Allies

The Turkish government has been defiant in the face of criticism at home and abroad for its raids targeting opposition media. The European Union on Monday expressed dismay after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Brussels for criticizing his government's action. Turkey's bid to be considered for EU membership has been on hold while critics accuse the NATO ally of increasingly authoritarian rule. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid