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Guinea sets date for presidential run-off vote

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-09-22

Rival candidates Cellou Dalein Diallo and veteran opposition leader Alpha Conde will face off in a presidential run-off election on October 10 after the head of Guinea's military junta demanded that a date be set.

AFP - Guinea's poll body was set Wednesday to formally propose that a presidential run-off, which was cancelled at the last minute, be held on October 10 to end months of military rule, sources said.

The action comes after the head of the west African country's military junta, General Sekouba Konate, on Tuesday demanded a new date.

"The date of October 10 is proposed. The document should be handed over at the presidency on Wednesday morning," said a source who attended a meeting of the independent national electoral commission CENI.

Others attending Tuesday's meeting confirmed the date but said members were deeply divided about it.

Some wanted the interim head of the commission, who they argue is biased, be replaced before deciding a new date.

On Tuesday, Konate said: "A second postponement of the presidential election is ruled out, I won't accept it.

"I remind you that my mission is finished," said Konate, who took over leadership in the west African country in January and pledged to hand power in Guinea back to elected civilians.

The rival candidates, former prime minister Cellou Dalein Diallo and veteran opposition leader Alpha Conde, were due to face the run-off on September 15 but the second round was called off at the last minute.

The CENI said there were logistical and technical problems and that it would need about two more weeks to prepare for the vote.

In the first round of the poll, held late in June, Diallo won more than 43 percent of the votes and Conde took 18 percent. That election was the first free poll in Guinea since independence from France, because the country has been ruled for half a century either by dictatorship or by the military.

The second round of the presidential poll was called off on September 15.

In what seemed to be a veiled reference to the candidates and interim Prime Minister Jean-Marie Dore, Konate blamed the situation on "the ambitions of those who want to get into power and those who don't want to give it up."

Date created : 2010-09-22


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