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Chief of Guinea Electoral Commission, Ben Sekou Sylla, Dies from Illness in Paris Hospital

September 14, 2010

Ben Sekou Sylla died at age 57

Guinea electoral commission chief dies

(AFP) – 5 hours ago

CONAKRY — The head of Guinea’s electoral commission, whose conviction for fraud in presidential elections triggered deadly violence at the weekend, died of illness in Paris on Tuesday, his widow said.

Ben Sekou Sylla, 57, the commission head who was convicted for fraud last Friday and sentenced to a year in jail, was being treated in Paris for an undisclosed illness.

“My husband died of illness in Paris this morning at the Saint-Louis hospital,” said Sylla Sire Keita, contacted by telephone in Paris.

He began receiving treatment in Paris in May.

Electoral violence that left one dead and 50 injured erupted over the weekend after an announcement Friday that Sylla and a top aide had been convicted of electoral fraud in connection with the first round of presidential elections on June 27.

Supporters of the rival candidates took to the streets on Saturday and Sunday, clashing and hurling stones at each other.

Former prime minister Cellou Dalein Diallo and veteran opposition leader Alpha Conde are due to face off in a presidential run-off on September 19.

Following the violence the government decided on Sunday to suspend the election campaign and ban all demonstrations.

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