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Guinea’s Presidential Run-Off Date Continues to Slip — Maybe, Sometime Between August 22-29

July 31, 2010

Guinea’s election watchdog uncertain of presidential run-off date

APA-Conakry (Guinea) After suggestions to hold the second round of presidential elections on 14 August, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of Guinea has put forward an alternative date ranging between 22 and 29 August for the same runoff, thus raising doubts about its ability to organize the election within these new deadlines.

The body responsible for organizing the presidential polls in Guinea must first fill a budget gap of over 41 billion Guinean francs, or nearly €5 million.

The runoff date therefore continues to divide political actors in Guinea since the INEC-proposed 14 August does not reportedly suit the Rally of Guinean People of Alpha Conde which said that the time is too short to correct the errors of the first round.

Alpha Conde especially insists that the ballot boxes be deployed on time and in great numbers in the Upper Guinea and Forest Guinea regions to allow voters to vote massively in these two regions reported to be his strongholds.

Meanwhile, the government does not want the second round to be botched up. Thus, it requires the electoral commission to take into account all the recommendations contained in a document submitted to the watchdog by an ad-hoc committee composed of members from the government, INEC and the National Transition Council (CNT).

Faced with this pressure, INEC, after proposing 14 August, has yet again suggested that the vote take place between 22 and 29 August without setting an exact date.

This plunges opinion into uncertainty about the holding of the second round in August, when the majority of voters will be observing the Muslim fast month.

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