UN Head Phones ECOWAS Leader to Ensure Guinea’s Poll Takes Place on Time
Source: United Nations News Service
Date: 14 Oct 2010
14 October 2010 – Seeking to ensure that the much-delayed second round of Guinea’s presidential poll is held on 24 October as scheduled, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today phoned Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan in his role as head of a regional body that has been assisting the process.
The Secretary-General hoped that in the 10 days remaining before the scheduled second round of the Guinean presidential elections, any outstanding issues would be resolved, according to his spokesman.
He thanked President Jonathan, who is chairman of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), for his direct engagement together with President Blaise Compaoré of Burkina Faso to ensure that the poll is held in a peaceful climate.
Mr. Ban’s Special Representative for West Africa, Said Djinnit, is already in the region for talks with Guinea’s Interim President Sékouba Konaté and the two candidates in the presidential run-off as well as with Mr. Jonathan.
Guinea’s independent electoral authority earlier cited technical difficulties when it postponed the ballot between Cellou Dalein Diallo and Alpha Condé, the two candidates with the highest number of votes in the first round in June.
Mr. Djinnit has warned that further delays could seriously undermine the transition process in Guinea. At least one person died earlier this month following clashes in the capital, Conakry, related to the election tensions, and Guinea has been plagued by misrule, dictatorships and coups since it gained independence in 1958.
The election is the final stage of the interim Government’s efforts to set up a democracy after the forces of Captain Moussa Dadis Camara – who seized power in a coup in 2008 after the death of long-time president Lansana Conté – shot, raped and attacked hundreds of civilian demonstrators attending a rally in Conakry in September 2009, killing at least 150