Guinea Election Chief Says Poll “Difficult” to Hold on October 24 – New Date Not Confirmed Yet
UPDATE 1-Guinea poll “difficult” to hold Oct 24 -commission
Thu Oct 21, 2010 9:23pm GMT
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CONAKRY Oct 21 (Reuters) – Guinea’s election commission chief said on Thursday it would be hard to stage a presidential run-off on Sunday as planned, giving the clearest sign yet the vote will be further delayed due to inadequate preparations.
“I must stress to you that the date of Oct. 24 will be difficult to stick to,” Siaka Toumany Sangare said after a series of meetings with key political players in the capital Conakry.
“I would not want to rush and send voters to the ballot boxes in such deplorable conditions that do not respect international standards and which will mean that the results will be disputed afterwards,” said Sangare, who was named two days ago after his predecessor was accused of bias.
The presidential run-off is needed to complete junta-ruled Guinea’s transition to civilian rule and draw a line under decades of authoritarian leadership that left the West African country in poverty despite huge mineral resources.
Sangare did not go as far as confirming the vote would have to be postponed but said he would now carry out an “objective and inclusive re-evaluation” as to whether it could go ahead as planned on Sunday.
Earlier, French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner, who has played a major role in efforts to guide Guinea towards civilian rule, suggested a delay of one week. (Reporting by Saliou Samb; Editing by Mark John and Peter Graff)