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Guinea’s Electoral Commission Says Needs Two More Weeks to Prepare for Poll, PM Dore Will Decide New Date

September 15, 2010

Guinea delays second round of presidential vote

(AFP) – 1 hour ago

CONAKRY — The second round of Guinea’s presidential election will not be held on Sunday as scheduled, a spokesman for the electoral commission said after days of violence.

“There has been a postponement,” Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) spokesman Thierno Ceydou Bayo said on Wednesday, following a meeting between interim Prime Minister Jean-Marie Dore and the two candidates, Cellou Dalein Diallo and Alpha Conde.

“We need two weeks to prepare well,” said Bayo, who said the new date for the run-off would be decided by Dore’s government.

Bayo said one of the reasons the vote had been delayed was because the commission was waiting for the arrival of 450,000 new polling cards, which had been ordered from South Africa and were due to arrive “Sunday night to Monday.”

In June’s first round voting in Guinea’s first democratic poll since independence from France in 1958, Diallo won won 43.69 percent and Conde took 18.25 percent.

Conde strongly contested the result, claiming that there was “gigantic fraud” on the part of the electoral commission.

The government on Sunday suspended the election campaign and banned demonstrations after violence in the streets of capital Conakry left one person dead and fifty injured.

The weekend’s violence erupted after an announcement last Friday that the head of the CENI — who died in Paris on Tuesday — and a top aide had been convicted of electoral fraud and sentenced to a year in prison.

The poor country, which has few commercial assets apart from bauxite, has known decades of autocratic or military rule. It is currently led by a junta headed by General Sekouba Konate, who has worked to hand over power to elected civilians.

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