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Guinea’s New Electoral Commission Chief to Answer Fraud Charges

October 7, 2010

Guinea’s New Electoral Commission Chief to Answer Fraud Charges

A human rights activist said the newly installed chairman of Guinea’s electoral commission will appear in court Thursday to answer charges of theft and electoral fraud during the 27th June first round presidential election.

Attorney Thierno Balde, president of Guinea’s Research Institute on Democracy and the Rule of Law, a non-governmental organization, said supporters of former Prime Minister Cellou Dalein Diallo filed the lawsuit after accusing Lounceny Camara of vote rigging during the first round of Guinea’s presidential election.

“According to them he (Camara) has hidden some of the minutes of the polling stations, which happened in one of the suburbs of Conakry, the capital of Guinea. He didn’t bring those minutes before not only the electoral commission, but also the Supreme Court. And it is one of the reasons that the Supreme Court has to cancel the votes received from (the area).”

Lounceny Camara was installed as chairman of Guinea’s Independent Electoral Commission replacing Ben Sekou Sylla who recently died in a French hospital after receiving medical treatment for an undisclosed illness.

Camera’s installment drew sharp criticism from supporters of leading presidential candidate Diallo who accused him of bias and being an avowed supporter of veteran opposition leader Alpha Conde.

Guinea’s military junta announced late Tuesday 24th October as the new date for the second round for the presidential election after none of the presidential aspirants failed to win over 50 percent of the total votes required to win the first-round vote.

Former Prime Minister Diallo won 43.69 percent while veteran opposition leader Alpha Conde came in second with 18.25 percent of the total votes.

Analysts say tension is high after Diallo supporters threatened to boycott the 24th October presidential run-off if a neutral person is not chosen to lead the electoral body ahead of the vote.

Attorney Balde said tension is still high over the installment of Camara as chairman of the electoral commission.

“The civil society (and other groups)… came together and made a proposal and the idea is really to have one who can be considered as neutral. And the person who will replace Ben Sekou Sylla is Monsignor Vincent Gomez from the church (who) is known for his integrity and for his honesty.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Musa S permalink
    October 7, 2010 10:09 AM

    Why are they bringing in charges now and not when the alleged tampering began? And another question for Attorney Thierno Balde, why did you or other supporters not protest at the time the alleged incident happened as the other camp did shortly after the election?
    You guys are practicing ethnic politics and not true democracy.
    Stop the divide and rule, it only brings divisiveness

    • October 7, 2010 6:33 PM

      I imagine that Cellou Diallo did not bring charges during the first round regarding Lounceny Camara because the transitional government would have used it as an opportunity to declare the election invalid, thus buying more time for Alpha Conde and the state-sponsored apparatus supporting him to drag out the election.

      I believe it is Sekouba Konate, Jean-Marie Dore, and Alpha Conde at the helm of ethnic politics and not Cellou Diallo. If a totally free and fair election is operated, it is statistically impossible for Conde to win. Coming from this standpoint, Conde’s only recourse is to stall, keep Lounceny Camara at head of CENI to commit the necessary fraud and even at that Conde has an uphill battle. The transition government has come up with a clever solution by placing Camara as head of CENI. They know Camara’s appointment is so egregious that Diallo will have to boycott the election. Then, enter Tibou Camara, Konate’s chosen replacement, who will promise to put on elections but will drag his feet as well. The state apparatus will accomplish its goal — keeping a Peul out of the presidency. Now that is ethnic politics at its best!!

      Thanks for writing in!

      Guinea Oye!

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