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Burkina Faso’s Compaore in Guinea Ahead of Elections

October 30, 2010

Burkina Faso’s Compaore in Guinea ahead of elections

(AFP) – 3 hours ago

CONAKRY — Guinea’s crisis mediator, Burkina Faso President Blaise Compaore, arrived in Conakry on Saturday to meet the two presidential candidates ahead of a run-off vote on November 7, local radio reported.

Compaore was greeted by the president of Guinea’s transition government General Sekouba Konate, as he stepped off the airplane.

He is scheduled to meet with former prime minister and poll favourite Cellou Dalein Diallo who won 43 percent of the votes in a first round on June 27, and later with rival candidate Alpha Conde, who garnered 18 percent.

The visit comes as the end of the election campaign was marked by clashes between activists of both camps and political and ethnic violence as rumours and suspicions spread amid mounting mistrust between parties.

On October 22, supporters of Conde’s political party were hospitalised, complaining they had been poisoned by drinks distributed during a rally, an accusation the government is still investigating.

However this led to a rumour that the Fulani belonging to Diallo’s party had carried out the poisoning, leading to a series of attacks against the ethnic group in the capital and eastern parts of the country.

The long-awaited second round election was postponed for a second time on October 24, and a new date set for November 7.

A peace tour, planned as a show of solidarity by the two candidates on Thursday, was cancelled after Conde pulled out under pressure from his party.

The historic election is aimed at giving the troubled west African nation its first democratic government after over half a century of despotic and military leaders since independence from France in 1958.

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