News / Africa

UN: Guinea Vote Delay Could Destabilize West Africa

A soldier sits amidst election posters of Presidential candidate Alpha Conde in the entrance of the Guinean People Rally (RPG) headquarters in Guinea's capital Conakry Saturday 18 Sept. 2010.
A soldier sits amidst election posters of Presidential candidate Alpha Conde in the entrance of the Guinean People Rally (RPG) headquarters in Guinea's capital Conakry Saturday 18 Sept. 2010.

The United Nations says further delay in Guinea's presidential election could destabilize the region.   The heads of U.N. peacekeeping missions across West Africa issued a joint appeal for the swift conclusion of Guinea's return to civilian rule.  The second round of voting has been postponed twice and prospects for a vote on October 10 are slipping quickly.

There are problems distributing voting material.  The leading candidate in the run-off, former prime minister Cellou Diallo, also objects to the new head of the electoral commission, who he says favors electoral rival Alpha Conde.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's special representative in West Africa Said Djinit says the U.N. appealed to the leaders of Guinea, and the two candidates in particular, to do all they can to overcome the current difficulties surrounding the leadership of the election commission and to create conditions under which the country can quickly organize the second round of presidential voting in peace and security.  He says the aim is to have elections that are accepted by everyone and enable Guinea to begin a new era of democracy and economic and political reconstruction.

West Africa is largely peaceful now, and the United Nations wants to keep it that way.  Voters in Ivory Coast hope to go to the polls next month for a much-delayed presidential vote.  Liberia and Nigeria hold presidential elections next year and Sierra Leone the following year.  It is a busy electoral schedule for West Africa that the U.N. special representatives say could be a factor of instability and a threat to social peace.

"Sierra Leone, as you may know, has a long border with Guinea, and the people of both countries share cultural, ethnic, and various commonalities," said Berhanemeskel Nega, the U.N. deputy special representative for Sierra Leone. "And anything which happens in Guinea, affects directly Sierra Leone positively or negatively.  So we are watching all these developments."

Diallo's campaign says electoral rules must be respected and further delay could threaten outside investment in Guinea.  Conde's campaign says problems from the first round must be corrected before voters can have confidence in the results of a second round.

Djinnit says it is a process complicated by Guinea's poor political history.

He adds that it is a long process because Guinea has been in crisis since its independence 50 years ago.  It has never had a democratic, multi-party election before this one.

Acting military ruler General Sekouba Konate is trying to return Guinea to civilian rule nearly two years after a military coup.  General Konate has repeatedly reaffirmed his support for the electoral process, but even he appears to be losing patience, telling French radio that, if necessary, he will install a civilian in charge of the country by force.

You May Like

Disappointing Report on China's Economy Shakes Markets

In London and New York shares lost 3 percent, while Paris and Germany dropped around 2.4 percent More

DRC Tries Mega-Farms to Feed Population

Park at Boukanga Lonzo currently has 5,000 hectares under cultivation, crops stretching as far as eye can see, and is start of ambitious large-scale agriculture plan More

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Areas are spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, source of livelihood for fishermen and herders who have called the marshes home for generations 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.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs