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Guinea Presidential Candidates Sign Agreement in Ougadougou to Conduct Peaceful Campaign and to Respect Vote Outcome – 2 Articles

September 3, 2010

Guinea Presidential Candidates Pledge Peaceful Campaign

VOA News 03 September 2010

Burkina Faso's President Blaise Compaore (C) and mediator in the guinea crisis poses after a meeting with Guinea's presidential candidates Cellou Daleine Diallo (R) and Alpha Conde (R) on 3 Sep 2010

Photo: AFP

The two candidates in Guinea’s run-off presidential election have signed an agreement to run “peaceful” campaigns and respect the official election results.

Former Prime Minister Cellou Dalein Diallo and longtime opposition leader Alpha Conde signed the document in Burkina Faso’s capital, Ouagadougou, on Friday.

In it, they promised to maintain good conduct and mutual respect during their campaigns, which kick off on Sunday before a scheduled September 19 vote.  

The candidates pledged to respect the independence of Guinea’s electoral commission.  And they said they will respect the election results and encourage their followers to do the same, while keeping any challenges within the legal system.

The agreement was negotiated with Burkina Faso’s president, Blaise Compaore.  Mr. Compaore was delegated by the Economic Community of West African States to mediate the political turmoil in Guinea last year.

Diallo won 44 percent of the vote in the first-round election on June 27.  Conde took 18 percent.  But the results were only certified after several weeks of protests from first-round candidates.

Accusations of campaign misconduct for round two have already begun.  Diallo said last week some local government officials are unfairly favoring Conde.

The election is meant to return Guinea to civilian rule nearly two years after the military seized power in a coup.

In December 2009 some 150 people died and Guinea fell deeper into political turmoil when soldiers opened fire on an opposition protest.

The West African country had previously been run by two presidents who ruled with an iron fist and suppressed human rights.




Burkinabe President Tries to Mediate Differences between Guinea’s Presidential Candidates

The president of Guinea’s Research Institute on Democracy and Rule of Law, a non-governmental organization, says  Burkinabe President Blaise Compaore is mediating talks between Guinea’s two presidential candidates.

Attorney Thierno Balde said the ongoing talks are aimed at preventing violence, as well as resolving all outstanding issues, ahead of the September 19 second round presidential vote.

“When President Blaise Compaore came to visit General Sekouba Konate two weeks ago, they agreed that he will invite the two leading candidates to Ouagadougou to hold talks and to agree on the process which will lead to the elections on September 19th,” he said.

Backed by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), President Compaore is helping Guinea’s efforts to return to constitutional rule.

There has been reported tension between the two presidential aspirants and their supporters during campaigns ahead of the vote.

Long time opposition leader Alpha Conde accused some members of the electoral commission of violating the country’s electoral code and demanded their removal ahead of the vote.

Former Prime Minister Cellou Dalein Diallo also accused Mr. Conde of having an agreement with the transitional Prime Minister, Jean-Marie Dore, to help manipulate the results of the vote.

Attorney Balde said the presidential candidates are expected to sign an agreement after the talks pledging to use legal means, not violence, to address their concerns over the results of the September vote.

“According to close [aides] of the two candidates, the idea is to have an agreement between them so that, when the elections will be organized, both of them will accept the results. And that, if they have any issue, they will use the legal means and, that no matter what happens, they will avoid using violence as a means of expressing their views,” Balde said.

He said officials in the transitional government have announced that they have been able to resolve the controversial issues surrounding the first round of voting to ensure a better second round.

International poll observers have concluded the June 27 first round vote was credible despite isolated reports of voter irregularities. It was Guinea’s first democratic vote since the country gained its independence in 1958 from France.

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