Guinea Electoral Head Waiting to Talk with Alpha Conde Before Final Decision on Election Date
Note that electoral commission head, Gen. Sangare, asked to meet with both candidates yesterday. Cellou Dalein Diallo interrupted his campaigning and returned to the capital yesterday afternoon. Alpha Conde did not return yesterday, but is expected back in the capital today.
Once again, the Conde campaign is dragging its feet at every opportunity. W hy? Regardless of whether the election takes place this Sunday or at a later time, the transition government, primarily PM Jean-Marie Dore, and the Conde campaign are intent on committing fraud to win the election. Not only have a total of 50 computers been stolen from the electoral commission office in the last 6 weeks, but Conde campaign workers fanned throughout Conakry neighborhoods this week distributing false voter lists designed to disqualify supporters of Diallo when they show up at the polls. The more time the Conde campaign has, the more time to commit fraudulent acts.
Also, the Diallo campaign has issued a declaration denouncing the physical aggression of Conde supporters against his own. In addition, the UN has announced that the Guinean security forces committed human rights abuses in a crack down on Diallo protesters earlier this week — see next post.
Guinea’s electoral commission has not made a decision about delaying Sunday’s presidential vote. His first day on the job, Malian General Siaka Toumany Sangare, the new head of Guinea’s electoral commission said he would decide whether or not to cancel Sunday’s second round presidential runoff.
Sangare did meet with members of the electoral commission and Prime Minister Jean-Marie Dore. But he failed to meet with the two candidates in this vote, which he said he wished to do above all before announcing his decision about this poll.
Former prime minister Cellou Diallo returned to the capital in the late afternoon after a day of campaigning. His challenger – long-time opposition leader Alpha Conde – does not return to Conakry until Friday.
So Sangare delayed his decision about Sunday’s vote, saying only that the date will be difficult to meet.
More than 10,000 voters in the capital alone are still waiting to receive their voter cards three days before the poll. The electoral commission says there is a shortfall of 5,000 voter cards for expatriate voters in Guinea-Bissau, a shortfall of nearly 3,000 cards in Ivory Coast and just over 2,000 cards for expatriates in Gambia.
On Friday, Sangare and Guinea’s military government are widely expected to delay this vote for at least another week.
But until that announcement, everything proceeds as if the vote will happen Sunday. Diallo rallied thousands of supporters late Thursday at Conakry’s Palace of the People urging them to get out and vote on Sunday. Members of a special electoral security service had what their officers said was a final briefing in preparation for the vote.
A suburban tribunal Friday is expected to hear charges against the former head of the electoral commission. Lounceny Camara is accused of electoral fraud for stealing 109 polling minutes during June’s first round of voting.
The disappearance of those results led to the cancellation of votes in a constituency believed to favor Diallo. His party says that is what prevented him from winning in the first round.
Diallo ended up taking nearly 44 percent of that vote. Conde finished second with 18 percent to go through to this much-delayed second round.