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VOA: Guinea Politician Expects Parties to Accept Court Ruling on Vote

July 11, 2010

Guinea Politician Expects Parties to Accept Court Ruling on Vote

Peter Clottey 11 July 2010
Voice of America News

Local residents watch as election workers count presidential votes at an outdoor polling station in Conakry, Guinea, 27 Jun 2010. Guinea on Sunday held its first free election since independence more than half a century ago, a vote many hope will finally end decades of harsh military rule and launch a new democratic era.
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The leader of Guinea’s New Generation for the Republic party told VOA it is likely that all the political parties that participated in the 27th June presidential election will accept the decision of the Supreme Court about the outcome of the vote.

Abe Sylla said 20 out of the 23 parties petitioned the Supreme Court claiming the election was fraught with irregularities, a charge Guinea’s Independent Electoral Commission (CENI) denied.

“We are waiting for the results of the Supreme Court before we make any decision. And, that is going to be probably around, on or before, the 19th of this month. And, it is only after that that we will see, number one, what are the decisions (if) the election was going to go to the second round, or are they (are) going to annul the election altogether,” he said.

Guinea’s Supreme Court has been listening to complaints filed by parties who claimed the election was rigged.

According to results announced by Guinea’s National Independent Electoral Commission (CENI), former Prime Minister Mamadou Cellou Dalein Diallo got 39.72 percent of the votes, while long time opposition leader Alpha Conde garnered 20.67 percent.

Under Guinea’s constitution, only the two front runners of the first round vote are eligible to participate in the run-off.

Party leader Sylla said, after the Supreme Court’s decision, his party will decide which of the two leading presidential candidates it will form an alliance with ahead of the run-off vote.

“We are going to talk to both of the two (presidential candidates) and see which one we can work with. And, we will respect whatever the Supreme Court decides,” Sylla said.

He also said Guineans are anxiously waiting for the Supreme Court’s decision.

International observers, including U.S-based Carter Center, the European Union, as well as the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) monitoring team, described the overall election as peaceful and transparent despite logistical challenges.

The election run-off was initially scheduled for 18th July, but was postponed to allow the Supreme Court adjudicate complaints filed by some parties challenging the election results with claims of intimidation and fraud allegations.

Many observers say the 27th June vote was the first time Guinea’s 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.

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