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Diallo Does Not Want Guinea Election So Soon After Ethnic Violence

October 26, 2010

Guinea elections to be Sunday, prime minister says
By Joe Penney, For CNN
October 26, 2010 — Updated 2010 GMT (0410 HKT)

http://edition.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/africa/10/26/guinea.elections/

STORY HIGHLIGHTS

    * Guinea’s prime minister says the delayed runoff election will be Sunday
    * A presidential decree confirming the date is expected
    * The favored candidate says his supporters are being threatened

Conakry, Guinea (CNN) — Guinea will go to the polls on Sunday, the nation’s prime minister said in a special meeting Tuesday.

The date must be made official by presidential decree, which is expected later Tuesday evening.

“No human work is perfect. … We are going to elections on the 31st,” said Prime Minister Jean-Marie Dore after a proposition by the new head of the electoral commission.

“After deep consultation, I proposed the date of October 31, 2010 to the transitional authorities,” said Siaka Toumani Sangare, the retired Malian general who was named head of the National Independent Electoral Commission, or CENI, in a presidential decree last week.

The favored candidate, Cellou Dalein Diallo, who took roughly 44 percent of the first-round votes, rejected the date, saying that his voters were being threatened by ethnic and political violence that has spread around the country since Friday.

“There have been violent atrocities committed in Siguiri, Kankan, Kouroussa, N’zerekore, Kissidougou, and people have been kicked out of their homes in these places. They cannot today where they have been resettled. No steps have been taken for their reception nor for their votes,” Diallo said to reporters on Tuesday.

If the date is upheld by military junta leader and interim president, Gen. Sekouba Konate, it would “be bad for peace in Guinea,” Diallo said.

Diallo’s rival, Alpha Conde, who took 18 percent of the votes cast in the first round, held in late June, accepted the new date without hesitation.

“I thank the CENI, I thank the authorities and I hope Guinea will go to elections on the 31st,” Conde said to reporters.

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