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GUINEA: Carter Center Concerned that Supreme Court Tally of Votes is 900,000 Less than Provisional Results — “A De Facto Disenfranchisement” of Nearly One-Third of Electorate

July 26, 2010

Link to the full Carter Center report is at the end of press release:

Carter Center welcomes preparation for Guinea’s presidentialrun-off election despite operational flaws
Source: The Carter Center
Africa | 4 hours ago
   
The Carter Center congratulates all Guinean presidential candidates and commends that the settlement of election disputes brought to the attention of the Supreme Court has been accepted by all parties.

Despite systematic weaknesses in the management of the results process, The Carter Center reaffirms its June 29 statement that it has not found evidence of systematic fraud in the electoral process. However, the results as announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) and submitted to the Supreme Court are an incomplete record of the total ballots cast on election day. The Center notes with serious concern that the final results announced by the Supreme Court recorded 900,000 fewer votes than the provisional results, a de facto disenfranchisement of approximately one-third of the electorate.

This statement reflects the Center’s continued observation of the full tabulation process, CENI’s announcement of provisional results on July 2, the election dispute resolution process administered by the Supreme Court, and the announcement of final official results on July 20. A few highlights of the Carter Center’s findings include:

· Three systems were in place to relay results to the CENI headquarters in Conakry, yet none was employed with complete success throughout the country. The Center strongly encourages CENI to review its operational procedures for the tabulation and recording of election results and implement a training program for election officials at all levels.

· As tabulation progressed and operational and logistical challenges became increasingly evident, CENI struggled to maintain a consistent level of transparency. CENI has not provided complete and detailed results by polling station nor provided a record of which results were counted, which were excluded and why. CENI can advance the principle of transparent election management through the public disclosure of the detailed results, even in cases where operational flaws may have caused results to be excluded.

· The long distances between some polling stations created difficulties for some voters, particularly given the restriction on motorized transportation on election day. Other voters also had difficulty locating their polling station. The Carter Center recommends that the CENI ensure that the allocation of polling stations is in accordance with the Electoral Code and well-publicized.

The Carter Center’s election observation mission to Guinea is conducted in accordance with the Declaration of Principles for International Election Observation and assessments made against Guinea’s domestic law and international obligations for democratic elections.

For the full interim report in English and French,  please visit:  http://www.cartercenter.org/news/pr/guinea-interim-statement-072410.html

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