Election campaign resumes in Guinea

2010-10-11 22:26

Conakry - The campaign for Guinea's presidential election resumed on Monday and will end on October 22, two days before the vote, according to a decree issued by transitional leader General Sekouba Konate.

People will be called to the polls on October 24 for a second round run-off to choose between two civilian candidates, Cellou Dalein Diallo (who won 43%t of votes in the first round) and Alpha Conde (18%).

The election is intended to end decades of autocratic or military rule in the bauxite-rich west African country, which has been one of the poorest nations in the world since independence in 1958.

However, observers fear a delay to the polls because of a challenge to the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI), which is responsible for organising the vote.

The Cellou Dalein Diallo Alliance on Monday again opposed the election of trade union leader Lounceny Camara to head the commission, on the grounds that he favours Alpha Conde as a candidate.

In a statement, this coalition "reaffirms its firm and categorical rejection of the designation of Lounceny Camara as president of the CENI," and added that it planned to take Camara to court, accusing him of stealing away "the voting records of 109 polling stations in the Ratoma district during the first round".

During a press conference last week, Camara declared that he would never resign. He said that "I have nothing to reproach myself with" regarding Ratoma, the largest constituency in Guinea.

Camara said that he was a "dyed-in-the-wool trade unionist" on whom the political parties "cannot count to cheat on behalf of anyone".

However, 11 of the 25 members of the CENI - including its former interim president Hadja Mame Aminata Camara - have signed a petition to call for the appointment of "a credible personality" at their head.

These members said they want to "save the independence of the CENI by way of the free choice of a president who is accepted by the majority of its members and favours calming down the political situation."