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Tension Overshadows Looming Guinea Election — CENI President’s Fraud Not Being Addressed

October 6, 2010

Guinean media are reporting that the current president of the electoral commission, Lounceny Camara, has been summoned to appear before a judge this Thursday regarding allegations of fraud.  The judge Camara is to appear before happens to be the same one who summarily sentenced, without trial, the former president of the CENI (before his death) Ben Sekou Sylla to prison  in order to make room for Camara to take over the CENI presidency.  There is strong evidence that Camara paid other members of the CENI to vote for him.  It is assumed that the judge will exonerate Camara of all charges of fraud.

Camara appears to have a forte for committing fraud.  A UN observer in the first round of Guinea’s election told a reporter, and is ready to testify if necessary, that Camara was caught red-handed with ballot tallies from two of the main districts in Conakry which were strongholds of presidential candidates of Cellou Dalein Diallo and Sidya Toure (now a member of Diallo’s coalition) and causing the loss of a large number of votes for the two candidates, possibly enough votes to have put Diallo over the 50% mark and declared election winner.  Further, Camara was in Angola prior to the first round to assist with the Guinean diaspora vote.  Numerous reports state that Camara’s meddling in the process was considered serious enough that he was asked to leave the country.

Finally, within the last week, 33 computers belonging to the CENI have gone missing and vital electoral materials necessary to hold a free and fair election.

Diallo’s accusations are not frivolous and refer to serious violations of electoral code and criminal law.  

Tension overshadows looming Guinea election
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The Associated Press
Wednesday, October 6, 2010; 12:16 PM

CONAKRY, Guinea — A spokesman for Guinea’s leading presidential candidate says the newly installed head of the country’s electoral commission is biased in favor of the opposing candidate.

Lounceny Camara was chosen to head the National Independent Electoral Commission after the commission’s former president, Ben Sekou Sylla, died after a long illness in September.

While party leaders for presidential candidate Cellou Dalein Diallo are pleased the date for the election has been set for Oct. 24, they accuse Camara of theft and fraud in a statement issued Wednesday. Party officials have threatened to boycott the elections if Camara remains in office.

The election could be the country’s first free and fair vote since independence from France in 1958.

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