SEPTEMBER 19: Date for Guinea Presidential Run-Off
Guinea run-off vote set for September 19: presidency
Posted Monday, August 9 2010 at 19:47
CONAKRY, August 9, 2010 – Guinea’s run-off election will take place on Sunday September 19, the presidency announced Monday, more than a month after a first round of voting in the west African nation’s first democratic poll.
The decision ends a tense deadlock over the timing of the second round, which by law should have taken place last Wednesday.
A meeting attended by the electoral commission, national transition council and the two final candidates “decided that the second round of the presidential election will be held on September 19,” secretary-general of the presidency Tibou Kamara told AFP.
A presidential source said the reason behind the long delay will be “the wait for the end of Ramadan”, a month-long Islamic practice in which followers do not eat or drink from dawn until sunset.
After a first round vote on June 27, the presidential contenders are former prime minister Cellou Dalein Diallo and Alpha Conde, a longtime opposition leader in the troubled country.
Diallo won 43.69 percent of votes in the June 27 vote against Conde on 18.25 percent.
Diallo is seen as almost certain to win the second round after winning the support of Sidya Toure, another former premier, who garnered 13.62 percent to take third place in the first round.
After half a century of dictatorial regimes and coups since independence in 1958, the country’s first free election was praised as peaceful. However, there were widespread accusations of ballot-stuffing and voting irregularities.
The election came after a particularly bloody period sparked by a coup that followed the death of longtime President Lansana Conte, another military leader, in 2008.
The junta that took power after the coup was headed by Captain Moussa Dadis Camara, whose failed promises to step aside led to a protest rally at which 157 people were massacred by security forces in September last year.
Camara was wounded in an attack by an aide in December 2009 and was replaced by General Sekouba Konate, who promised to lead the country to free and fair polls and called the elections.