/ 11 November 2010

Guinea delays election results

Guinea Delays Election Results

Guinea, struggling to recover from a 2008 coup, has delayed the announcement of last Sunday’s polls for several days amid mounting complaints of fraud from presidential candidates.

Results were due to have been announced on Wednesday, 72 hours after the polls closed, but the electoral commission said that timeline would only commence once all the votes had been brought to the count centre in Conakry.

The commission’s chairperson, Siaka Sangare, said late on Wednesday that the commission had agreed with the Supreme Court the count should only be expected three days after the votes had been centralised.

Sangare said the electoral commission had received “many complaints and is making a point to examine them”.

Only half the votes cast in Sunday’s election have reached the central counting centre in the capital. The electoral commission said it hopes to have all the counts in on Thursday, making the announcement of provisional results likely on Saturday.

‘Violence-marred campaign’
After a violence-marred campaign, former premier Cellou Dalein Diallo and veteran opposition leader Alpha Conde were neck and neck after 10% of the votes were counted on Tuesday.

International monitors praised a peaceful vote, aimed at ending 52 years of dictatorship and military rule, but fears have been raised of further ethnic clashes as results come out.

Diallo, an ethnic Fulani, accuses the rival camp of “ballot stuffing” in Upper Guinea and demanded the vote be annulled in two strongholds of Conde, a Malinke.

“The final results of the first round — 43% for Diallo and 18% for Conde — were misleading because the Supreme Court overturned a third of the votes,” said a member of an international observer mission, adding that voting along ethnic lines may work against Diallo.

The poor but mineral rich country, whose massive bauxite and iron-ore stores have drawn the interest of multinationals, has been run by a transitional government since January, led by General Sekouba Konate, following a December 2008 coup. — AFP