Guinean Presidential Candidate Will Challenge Result

Guinean Presidential Candidate Will Challenge Result

By Ougna Camara – Nov. 16, 2010 11:49am ET 

Guinea’s losing candidate in a runoff presidential election will challenge the outcome in court, his party said, as the United Nations appealed for calm after a day of clashes between his supporters and the police.

Cellou Dalein Diallo, a former prime minister of the country, will appeal to the Supreme Court to cancel results from some districts, Faya Millimono, a spokesman for the Union of Democratic Forces of Guinea, said in a phone interview today from the capital, Conakry. His rival, Alpha Conde, was declared the winner by electoral authorities yesterday.

“We will demand as soon as possible the cancellation of two district results favorable to Conde, where fraud and irregularities were registered,” Diallo said.

The Nov. 7 vote marked the first democratic transfer of power in the mineral-rich West African nation. The election was held almost two years after the December 2008 death of President Lansana Conte, who ruled the country for 24 years. Army Captain Moussa Dadis Camara seized power and ruled for a year before being shot in the head and injured by an aide on Dec. 3, 2009. General Sekouba Konate took over as interim president and pushed ahead with plans for a civilian-led administration.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon yesterday urged Guineans to accept the result and to “resolve any differences through legal means.”

Deaths, Injuries

Agence France-Presse reported that one person died and dozens were injured in Conakry yesterday before the vote result was announced. Another was killed in Dalaba after the result was released, the news agency said. Both reports cited people that were identified by AFP.

Conde, 72, received 52.52 percent of ballots cast in the vote, while Diallo received 47.48 percent, according to the electoral commission. The runoff was arranged after no candidate won more than 50 percent in a June 27 election. Both Diallo and Conde called for calm after the results, AFP said.

Conde, 72, is a former professor at the Sorbonne in Paris who spent 20 months in jail in Guinea until 2001, according to his campaign website, where he pledged to boost agriculture and regional integration to aid development in Guinea.

“While Conde will reach out to Diallo’s supporters, he is unlikely to include Diallo in his government,” New York-based DaMina Advisors Llp said in an e-mailed note to clients.

Mineral Deposits

Ranked 170th out or 182 countries on the United Nations’ Human Development Index, per capita incomes in Guinea, a former French colony, are less than half the sub-Saharan African average of $861, according to the World Bank. The country holds as much as half of the world’s reserves of bauxite, more than 4 billion metric tons of “high-grade” iron ore and “significant” deposits of diamonds and gold, according to the U.S. State Department. Bauxite is the ore used to make aluminum.

Both Conde and Diallo pledged during the campaign to continue a review of mining deals that aren’t favorable to Guinea that began in 2008 and led to a dispute with London-based Rio Tinto Group over ownership of the Simandou iron-ore project. Other companies operating in the country include Russia’s United Co. Rusal, the world’s largest aluminum producer, AngloGold Ashanti Ltd., Africa’s biggest gold miner, and Brazil’s Vale SA, the world’s No. 1 iron-ore producer.

“Conde’s ambitious populist manifesto calls for drastic increases in tax revenues and a re-write of the country’s mining and hydrocarbons laws,” DaMina said. “Tensions with miners and local business elites will retard major new investments in iron ore, gold and bauxite.”

Observers from the African Union said Nov. 8 the voting was held in a “serene and peaceful atmosphere,” while the Economic Community of West African States said deficiencies of electoral materials in some areas didn’t compromise the vote.

Conte seized power in 1984 after the death of President Ahmed Sekou Toure.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ougna Camara in Conakry via Accra at ebowers1@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Antony Sguazzin at asguazzin@bloomberg.net.

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GUINEA ELECTION UPDATE: More Results and Some Thoughts on the “Election”

The CENI issued results from five more prefectures this evening:  Spain, Forecariah, Matoto, Macenta and Koubia.  These latest results gave Cellou Dalein Diallo a small lead — 28, 309.  If you wish to see the details of today’s results, go to GUINEENEWS

Of course, Diallo’s lead would be many times higher than this and Conde’s total would be many times less but state-sponsored fraud and a shameless Alpha Conde joined together to bring the people of Guinea a decidely undemocratic presidential election.  One has to wonder what the widow of a Peul who’s head was nearly cut in two would think about Alpha Conde’s call to take revenge against Peuls in Siguiri and Kouroussa claiming they were responsible for poisoning his supporters — a huge lie concocted in Conakry to vacate Siguiri of its Peul population so they would be too scared to come back home on election day to vote.  And, it worked.  And, in ten years or so, ask any one of the nine children left behind by the murdered man if Guinea-style democracy made a difference in their lives.

Tomorrow in Guinea promises to be a dangerous day.  It is expected that CENI president, Gen. Sangare, will announce the final provisional election results and name the next president.  Supporters of Cellou will no doubt hit the streets either before the announcement or just after.  They will be met with brute military force as the security forces are on high alert and patrolling already at most intersections.  The government has signed a decree banning all protests.  It was under these same circumstances that on September 28, 2009, state security forces massacred Guineans who had gathered at the stadium for an opposition rally and raped dozens of women.  And, just as on September 28, 2009, tomorrow the anti-Peul rage among the military will be palpable.

Election Results Expected on Monday, November 15

(AFP) – 1 hour ago

CONAKRY — Results from Guinea’s run-off presidential elections would be announced Monday, the head of the electoral commission said, amid concerns over post-voting violence before a Muslim holiday.

“We are ready so that at the latest by mid-Monday the population will know the name of the man who will preside over the country’s destiny,” electoral commission chairman Siaka Sangare said late Saturday.

The commission has delayed announcing the results of the November 7 run-off pitting former premier Cellou Dalein Diallo against veteran opposition leader Alpha Conde, which aims to end 52 years of dictatorship and military rule in the west African country.

Results were due to have been announced last Wednesday and were later expected on Saturday.

Schools in the capital Conakry have been closed for the past 10 days after a violence-marked campaign.

National television has been broadcasting appeals to avoid election-related violence ahead of the Islamic feast of Eid al-Adha on Tuesday.

The poor but mineral-rich country, whose massive bauxite and iron-ore stores have drawn the interest of multinationals, has been run by transitional president General Sekouba Konate, following a December 2008 c

GUINEA ELECTION UPDATE: Fraud, Fraud and More Fraud

Yesterday, in an attempt to influence the system to work in its favor, the Conde campaign dispatched two delegations:  one to the president of the CENI, Gen. Sangare, and the other to the president of the Supreme Court.  Word is that Sangare was outwardly incredulous about the delegation’s stated purpose for the visit, “a courtesy call.”

The Diallo camp is increasingly concerned about whether the vote tallies for Siguiri and Kouroussa will be annulled as it has asked based on RPG -orchestrated violence  in both of these areas prior to the election causing voters to flee.  In addition, the fraud in these two areas was extensive on election day.  The Diallo campaign called for its supporters to come on the streets today and was able to turn out a crowd of 100,000 people within 30 minutes.  Also, the campaign filed a request with the CENI to prevent the proclamation of provisional results to ive it more time to present the evidence of fraud.  To that end, the Diallo campaign held a press conference to present additional examples of fraud identified including: 

-computer messaging (sms) which was used to transmit initial results was pirated by Conde campaign operatives and, using this method, they blocked all results from middle Guinee.

-the computers that were stolen recently which had been configured by the CENI were used to change votes in Lower Guinea.  The vote of many Soussous were changed from Diallo to Conde.  If you recall, there was much surprise that Diallo did not get the Soussou vote given that “their” candidate, Sidya Toure, is part of Diallo’s alliance.  The answer is clear now — many Soussou voted for Diallo but the computer fraud caused the votes to go to Conde!

International Criminal Court Calls for Calm

 

“We cannot accept this kind of behaviour,” said Diallo. “That on the eve of an election, we hunt down the supporters of our opponent because of their ethnicity. It’s dangerous for Guinea if you validate these results. It’s dangerous for Africa as well.”

 

International Criminal Court calls for calm in Guinea before election results announced

By Rukmini CallimacHi (CP) – 14 hours ago

CONAKRY, Guinea — A prosecutor for the International Criminal Court met with military bosses and political parties in Guinea on Friday, urging them to refrain from violence after the announcement of results of a tense presidential election that is pitting candidates from the nation’s two largest ethnic groups.

International observers say the vote last week marks the country’s first democratic election, yet the achievement has been overshadowed by fears it could degenerate into violence along ethnic lines once one candidate is declared the winner. The publication of results have been delayed as the election commission attempts to deal with the sensitivity of the ballot, and attempts by both candidates to invalidate precincts where they claim there is evidence of fraud.

Assistant Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said the court is concerned that there could be a repeat of Kenya’s 2007 election, where hundreds were killed. Guinea is considered especially fragile because the country is still reeling from an army-led massacre of protesters last year who had gathered to demand an end to military rule.

Bensouda said she had met with both the candidates Cellou Dalein Diallo and Alpha Conde who she said had assured her that they would not incite their supporters to violence.

She also met and said she was reassured by the head of the armed forces and by the general who agreed to hand over power to civilians following last year’s atrocities. Guinea has been ruled by military strongmen for the past 26 years and many fear that the army — which is dominated by the Malinke, the ethnicity of Conde — could try to take back power in another coup if they do not agree with the outcome of the vote.

Partial results released late Friday indicated a tight race with Diallo leading by a hair. Only some 50,000 votes separate the two candidates after 1.4 million ballots had been counted — around half of the electorate.

“The country is going through a crucial transition,” Bensouda said at a press conference. “But as we have seen over the past two weeks, it could generate violence … I repeat: We do not want a similar scenario (to Kenya) in Guinea … The end of impunity needs to mark this new page of Guinea’s history.”

Both candidates have accused the other side of fraud, even though international observers have so far said the poll appeared to be transparent overall. Although they noted some irregularities, many say it is unlikely to change the outcome of the ballot.

National Independent Electoral Commission President Siaka Toumani Sangare said he expects final results to be out before Monday and said that the commission has received around 30 complaints regarding individual precincts. He said the commission is going through them one by one to decide whether the alleged fraud is serious enough to warrant throwing out the vote from that district.

Both parties are attempting to annul the vote in provinces that are favourable to their rival. Peul candidate Diallo — whose supporters are overwhelmingly from his ethnic group — is calling for the key northern provinces of Siguiri and Kousoussa to be cancelled.

The region was swept by communal riots targeting the Peul in the days before the vote and the United Nations confirmed that Peul businesses were destroyed and at least 1,800 Peul people fled.

“We cannot accept this kind of behaviour,” said Diallo. “That on the eve of an election, we hunt down the supporters of our opponent because of their ethnicity. It’s dangerous for Guinea if you validate these results. It’s dangerous for Africa as well.”

Copyright © 2010 The Canadian Press. All rights reserved.

GUINEA ELECTION UPDATE: Konate “Convinced” to Stay in Guinea, Paris Ambassador Wants Vote Annulled, and Conde Asks Diouf for Help

President, General Konate, under the pretense of health problems, headed to the airport yesterday to catch a flight to Morocco.  Before he could step on the plane, a bevy of national and international figures contacted him to say “not so fast.”  He agreed to forgo the trip, probably after being reminded of his obligation to hold elections and assure a democtatic transition.  While the election has taken place and the results are in the hands of the CENI, the rumor is that the CENI will punt the matter of election disputes over to the Supreme Court.  Konate’s main responsibility now is to sit on the military until things are straightened out.  The question is does Konate see it like this?

The Guinean ambassador in Paris, who orchestrated a voting hell on election day by working closely with RPG operatives to impede Diallo supporters from voting, is now asking that the embassy vote be annulled.  Why, after her hard work, would she do this?  Largely because Diallo won in Paris in spite of the fraud.  Also, Conde, desperate for votes, has just requested that all votes from embassies be nullified in an attempt to erase the Guinea Diaspora vote which heavily favored Diallo.

Alpha Conde contacted President Diouf of Senegal to intercede on his behalf with Gen. Sangare, president of the CENI.  Pres. Diouf is head of the “Francophonie,” the organization which dispatched Sangare to Guinea to serve as the president of the CENI.

Stay tuned!

More Results Expected Today (Friday) in Guinea Presidential Race

More Results Expected in Close Guinea Presidential Race

Scott Stearns | Conakry 12 November 2010

More results are expected Friday in a close presidential race in Guinea. The vote is meant to return the country to civilian rule nearly two years after soldiers took power.

Election results so far show former prime minister Cellou Diallo leading opposition politician Alpha Conde by fewer than 100,000 votes. Many of the first returns came from areas where Mr. Diallo was expected to do well. The difference in the vote count tightened with the addition of results from districts where Mr. Conde has strong support.

Five days after Sunday’s vote there is still no clear winner. But the country has remained calm with no repeat of the earlier violence between rival supporters that delayed voting.

Electoral commission president Siaka Toumany Sangare says “many more” results will be announced late Friday, dismissing suggestions that the process is behind schedule.

Sangare says Guinea’s Supreme Court has determined that the electoral law’s 72-hour deadline for announcing results begins only when the last vote is received by electoral officials. Because there are still four districts yet to report, Sangare says there is no delay.

Those four remaining results are from embassies in France, Holland, and Belgium, as well as the district of Siguiri.

Thousands of members of Mr. Diallo’s ethnic group were driven from their homes in Siguiri and Kouroussa during pre-election violence. The Diallo campaign wants those results annulled because it says it was unable to post representatives at all of the polling stations there. The Conde campaign says the electoral commission guaranteed the ability of all displaced people to vote by opening special polling stations for them.

Sangare says the commission has not responded to requests to annul those votes because returns from Siguiri and Kouroussa have not yet been examined. He says that will happen Friday.

Electoral commission results reporter El Hadji Koromoa Foumba says he understands voter frustration at waiting for results but says officials are taking the time to do their job properly.

Foumba says the commission needs to be truthful when publishing results instead of rushing to give out figures that will be contested later. He says there will always be people who challenge the results. That is the right of all political parties. But Foumba says the commission wants to release only results it believes in.

The goal now is to have a winner in this contest some time before Monday morning.