Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Losing Guinea candidates cry foul; Gen. Konaté threatens to resign

Reposted with permission from Friends of Guinea blog

Conduct of the first round of presidential elections were generally praised by the international community, including ECOWAS and the United States.

However, the Carter Center did cite concerns, including: Confusion about several important aspects of voting and counting procedures, delay in allocation of polling stations, and late delivery of essential voting materials negatively affected the quality of polling.

The top two finishers will contest a run off: former prime minister Cellou Dalein Diallo and longtime opposition leader Alpha Condé. The second round was originally scheduled for July 18 but reports have suggested that it will not take place on that date, since the Constitutional Court will not rule on the validity of the first round results until July 13.

The interim government banned public demonstrations following the first round and broke up with tear gas a march held in defiance of the ban.

Several opposition candidates complained about electoral irregularities, most vehemently the UFR's candidate Sidya Touré. Touré, another former prime minister, finished third in the first round, about 5 percentage points behind Condé.

Touré attacked the president of the transition Gen. Sékouba Konaté as well as the French foreign minister Bernard Kouchner.

The acting head of state Gen. Konaté responded angrily to the 'offensive' questioning of his neutrality and set off a mini-crisis when he threatened to resign. However, he appears to have been dissuaded from this course of action by Senegal's leader Abdoulaye Wade and African Union chief Jean Ping.

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