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Guinea Court Set to Rule on Disputed June Election

  • Peter Clottey

The leader of Guinea’s New Generation for the Republic party told VOA he expects a fair judgment ahead of the Supreme Court’s ruling on the June 27 presidential election, scheduled to be delivered Monday.

Abe Sylla said there is a need for the entire Guinea population to respect and abide by the Supreme Court’s ruling.

“As you are aware of, the vote was rigged and full of fraud. And, there were a lot of petitions that were done by different leaders, and I hope that they [Supreme Court] will take all that into consideration. So, I’m assuming they are going to make [a fair judgment],” he said.

Several political parties, including Guinea’s New Generation for the Republic party, petitioned the court claiming the presidential election was fraught with irregularities and voter intimidation, a charge the National Independent Electoral Commission (CENI) denies.

International poll observer groups that monitored the election, including the U.S-based Carter Center, as well as the European Union, said the vote was fair despite logistical challenges.

But, political leader Sylla said there are expectations that the Supreme Court will rule using different scenarios in its judgment.

“Three things they may talk about today; first is that, are they going to stand [by] the decision as it was given to them [by the electoral body]? Second, are they going to eliminate one… that was already prequalified? Third, are they going to annul the election? So, we will know the Supreme Court’s decision,” Sylla said.

Under Guinea’s constitution, the Supreme Court is expected to confirm the provisional results before the two leading presidential candidates will contest in the election run-off which, was originally scheduled for July 18.

But, the court postponed the run-off vote to allow it to adjudicate petitions of voter fraud claims by several political parties that participated in the first round election.

Analysts say the June 27 vote was the first time Guinea’s National Independent Electoral Commission has organized an election without an incumbent candidate.

Previous elections were judged to have been manipulated in favor of the ruling party and incumbent president.

According to the electoral commission, about 77 percent of Guinea’s four million registered voters fully participated in the vote.

Poll observers, who monitored the election, including ECOWAS observers, applauded the vote in a country analysts say has been ruled by dictators since it gained independence from colonial power France in 1958.