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Guinea’s Opposition Calls for Fresh Elections

A polling officer looks through a list of voters during presidential election in Conakry, Guinea on October 11, 2015. (Photo: C. Stein)
A polling officer looks through a list of voters during presidential election in Conakry, Guinea on October 11, 2015. (Photo: C. Stein)

The leader of Guinea’s main opposition Union of Democratic Forces party is calling for fresh elections, saying Sunday’s presidential balloting was fraudulent.

Cellou Dalein Diallo said the opposition will not accept the results, which are expected to be announced either Tuesday or Wednesday, because the voting was characterized by massive rigging in favor of incumbent leader Alpha Conde.

Another opposition leader, Sydia Toure of the Union of Republican Forces, told VOA Sunday that more than 20 percent of ballot papers and 30 percent of envelopes were not available at polling stations and the military came out in large numbers to vote for President Conde.

Diallo said there should be a new election for the peace and stability of Guinea.

“The organization of election was not good; we had many problems – material problems; we had organizational problems; we had security problems. In my local of Gaoual, we had more material problems. We need new election. I don’t know when we can have it, but for our peace, for the security of Guinea we need to have new election,” he said.

Asked where the money would come from to hold fresh elections, Diallo said the problem with holding credible elections in Guinea is not about money but rather the lack of good organization.

“I don’t know if this is just the problem of money. It’s the problem of volunteering; it’s the problem of organization. We need about $10 or $20 million dollars. It’s not more for our peace, for our security, for good governance, and for our democracy. That’s not much money,” Diallo said.

With 7 opposition candidates in Sunday’s election, Diallo dismissed any suggestion the opposition could be held partly responsible if President Conde wins the election on the first ballot.

“No, it’s not the problem of more candidates because if you had one candidate that’s not the solution for beating the president because we have a system. But our president and government used the system for fraud,” said Diallo.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon Monday welcomed what he called peaceful conduct of the presidential election.

A statement said the “Secretary-General encourages all political leaders and national stakeholders to maintain the peaceful atmosphere that prevailed on Election Day and to refrain from any statements that may lead to violence or unrest.

The Secretary-General reiterated his call on national stakeholders to resolve any disputes that might arise peacefully, through established legal procedures.

The European Union’s election observer mission in Conakry is expected to hold a news conference later Tuesday on the conduct of the election.