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Guinea Moves to Appoint Interim Election Chief Days Before Scheduled Poll

A woman walks in front a poster for Guinean presidential candidate, Alpha Conde, hung in front of the home of a supporter of his party (file photo)

Twelve members of Guinea's Independent National Electoral Commission have declared their choice for an interim president to run the institution until all 25 members can agree on a new head. The move, if successful, would replace controversial commission president Lounceny Camara with an interim commission chief.

The announcement came one of the country's candidates for president, Cellou Dalein Diallo, repeated his threat to boycott the elections if Camara remained head of the country's electoral commission.

Guinea's run-off presidential election is scheduled for October 24th. The commission is charged with overseeing and managing the process.

The commission's spokesperson, Tierno Saidou Bayo, announced that almost half of the commission have agreed that Foumbi Kourouma should serve as interim president until all 25 members of the commission can agree on a new head.

Diallo's party has accused Camara of favoring the opposing candidate in the scheduled presidential run-off, Alpha Conde.

On Tuesday, Diallo and Conde announced that no matter who wins the October 24th elections, they plan to form a unity government. Conde said the announcement was intended to ease tensions in the country and send the message that after elections, both sides should work together to build up Guinea.

The bauxite-rich country has endured decades of autocratic rule, and the October 24 contest has been hailed as a possible bright spot on Guinea's political horizon. But recent tensions among the rival candidates' supporters have renewed concerns about the future.