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UN Envoy Welcomes New Date for Guinea Second Round Election

October 29, 2010

This article states that the election was postponed due to technical difficulties.  Actually, it was the CENI’s recommendation to hold the election on October 24 that was based on technical difficulties (concern that poll workers would forget their training if election was postponed, did not want election materials, which had already been distributed throughout the country, to “linger” and possibly be lost or tampered with, and overall cost of putting on the election).  Candidate Diallo requested the  postponement of the election because of the previous week’s attacks by Malinkes on Peuls which  forced thousands to flee their homes leaving them unable to vote at their regular polling stations, thus disenfranchising many Puels.  A postponement would provide time for the affected areas to return to calm and allow Peuls to return to their homes before voting day.

UN envoy welcomes new date for Guinea’s second round of presidential elections
29 October 2010 

UNITED NATIONS (BNO NEWS) — The United Nations envoy for West Africa, Said Djinnit has welcomed the new date set by authorities in Guinea for the second round of presidential elections.

Guinean authorities selected November for the run-off after the independent electoral authority cancelled the poll that was scheduled for October 24. The cancellation was made due to technical difficulties.

The second round will confront Cellou Dalein Diallo and Alpha Condé, the two candidates who garnered the highest number of votes in the first round in June.

Djinnit urged the two candidates and other Guinean leaders to do everything to defuse tensions and create conditions conducive for a peaceful election process. He reiterated the support from the UN and its bodies towards the Guinean political transition.

Both candidates are supported by rival ethnic groups, the Peuls and the Malinke respectively, which has caused street fights across the nation. The election process has been plagued with violence, which escalated after the fraud conviction of two senior election officials.

The first round was seen as Guinea’s first democratic vote since independence in 1958, raising hopes of an end to military and authoritarian rule in the mineral-rich country that was established after the death of long-time leader Lansana Conte in December 2008.

For the upcoming second round, Diallo is seen as the favorite but his rival, veteran opposition leader Conde, says he was defrauded of some 600,000 votes in the first round.

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