Act responsibly, Guinea leaders told

2010-11-19 16:30

Brussels - The European Union's foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton issued a stern call Friday to the political leaders of Guinea, mired in post-electoral violence, "to act responsibly in this sensitive stage".

Praising the mineral-rich nation for moving towards democracy by proceeding with a run-off round of its stalled presidential poll, Ashton said she was nonethless concerned by reports of serious incidents" after the announcement of provisional results".

She urged security forces "to show the necessary restraint when controlling unrest", warning that an escalation of violence could endanger the consolidation of a democratic civilian government in Guinea.

"The EU will not accept any step backward in the transition process nor in the handing over of power to an elected civilian government," she said.

Congratulating the work of the country's electoral commission and the "civic behaviour" of the West African nation's voters she called for all "to address any possible dispute exclusively through peaceful, legal means".

Trouble flared in Conakry after Alpha Conde was declared winner of Sunday's election and defeated candidate Cellou Dalein Diallo claimed voter fraud. The International Crisis Group said 12 people had been killed in post-election violence.

The EU, which sent observers and provides financial support to the Election Commission and civil society, called for "full transparency" in dealing with fraud complaints and urged political leaders to accept the final ruling.