Guinea election body sets Sunday run-off presidential poll

Guinea`s election body has set Sunday as the date for the twice-delayed second round of the country`s presidential election.

Last Updated: Oct 27, 2010, 10:49 AM IST

Conakry: Guinea`s election body has set Sunday as the date for the twice-delayed second round of the country`s presidential election.

The head of the election commission, Malian General Siaka Sangara, said he had "formally presented" the proposed date to the head of Guinea`s transition government General Sekouba Konate who is required to confirm the date by decree.

Sangara said the date had been decided after "extensive consultations" with all the main political participants, including the two candidates, former prime minister Cellou Dalein Diallo and longtime opposition leader Alpha Conde.

He was addressing members of the transition government and the candidates in Conakry.

The run-off vote, initially due on October 24, was postponed for the second time as rival parties accused each other of inciting violence and disrupting the organisation of the vote.

The first round of voting in June went off peacefully, raising hopes that 25 years of military rule and despotism would finally be brought to an end in the poor but bauxite-rich west African nation.

However accusations of fraud and mutual mistrust have led to violent clashes as political and ethnic tensions rise.
Diallo, of Fulani ethnicity, said the date was "too soon" and that clashes had led to massive displacement of people who would be unable to vote on Sunday.

"This is the first time that I request a postponement but the situation requires time to heal wounds and restore trust between citizens and communities," he said.

His opponent Conde, of the Malinke ethnic group, said he had "no objection" to elections taking place on Sunday.
On Tuesday human rights organisations Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch condemned the brutality of security forces in quelling election protests, which it said left one dead, 60 injured and over 100 arrested.

For his part Burkina Faso`s president Blaise Compaore, mediator of the Guinea crisis, expressed "regret" over the recent violence.

IANS