Guinea’s Second Round Presidential Campaign Begins in Spite of Konate’s Refusal to Resolve CENI Crisis
Sekouba Konate signed a decree on Sunday evening to announce the presidential campaign time period for the second round election on October 24: it begins today, October 11 and ends at midnight, October 22. The decree warns that all electoral codes are to be followed explicitly. Konate continues to refuse to resolve the crisis concerning the head of the Guinean electoral commission, the CENI, who the campaign alliance of Cellou Dalein Diallo accuses of fraud. Louceny Camara is accused of confiscating the voting records of 109 polling stations in Ratoma, a district of Conakry, in the first round. Had these votes been included in the official count for Diallo, it is likely he would have won the presidency out right in the first round.
Presidential candidate, Cellou Dalein Diallo, on the campaign trail during the first round. Today, October 11, is the first day of the second round campaign.
Peter Clottey10 October 2010
A top official of the Union of Democratic Forces in Guinea (UDFG) told VOA that leading presidential candidate, and former prime minister, Cellou Dalein Diallo will officially begin campaigning Monday ahead of the second round presidential vote scheduled for 24th October.
Yousouff Sylla, a special adviser to Mr. Diallo, also called on the transitional government to resolve the impasse surrounding the choice of who presides over the independent electoral commission.
“We are going to visit mainly coastal cities. This is the area we are going to compete with the other party. And, this is an area where Mr. Sidya Toure is very well (established) and our party UFDG is very well (established). So, it’s going to be a tough area to compete, in any case, against our opponent.”
The new chairman would replace Ben Sekou Sylla who recently died in a French hospital where he was receiving medical treatment for an undisclosed illness.
Sylla said supporters of the UDFG are relieved, after delays, that the anticipated presidential run-off will be held on 24th October.
“There is already an attempt to resolve it. Since last week, two new people were name, Mr. Kaybe, a judge, and Mr. Albert Gomez, a priest. Now, we need to wait for an election to take place inside the electoral committee to have the new president elected.”
Supporters of Diallo and veteran opposition leader Alpha Conde have sharply differed over who will lead the electoral commission.
Supporters of the former prime minister accuse Conde of masterminding what they described as the controversial election of Louceny Camara to be the chairman of the electoral body, a charge supporters of the Rally of the Guinean People (RPG) deny.
Sylla called on Guinea’s military junta to resolve the stalemate over who heads the electoral body in the run up to the vote.
“This depends on the transitional authority. If they speed it up, that person would be elected and the new president (electoral commissioner) will be known and then all the issues will be resolved. Then, the only thing will be to meet the deadline on the 24th of October, the date scheduled for the election.”