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Africa

Accusations of fraud delay Guinea election results

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2010-11-13

Just short of a week after the second round of Guinea’s presidential election and with only half of votes counted, former premier Cellou Dalein Diallo maintained a small lead over challenger Alpha Conde. Both men have alleged incidents of fraud.

Each night the head of Guinea’s electoral commission drip-feeds partial results from the Nov. 7 second round of the presidential election.

But the final tally – and the possible result – is being delayed following complaints raised by the two main contenders, former prime minister Cellou Dalein Diallo and his long-time rival, Alpha Conde.

The day after the second round vote, both candidates said they were happy that the poll had been properly executed.

But as the deadline approached for the results to be announced, both Diallo and Conde changed their tune. Both claim incidents of fraud and intimidation.

“We have had a certain number of complaints from both candidates,” the head of Guinea’s electoral commission, Malian General Siaka Toumani Sangare, told FRANCE 24.

“For example, the Union of Democratic Forces of Guinea, lead by Cellou Dalein Diallo, has asked for the count at some voting stations in the Kindia district to be annulled. And Alpha Conde’s Rally of the Guinean People party has made complaints about the overseas vote,” he said.

‘Speculation and fantasy’

Some 40 percent of the votes have been counted so far, with Conde and Diallo neck and neck.

The announcement of the final results was due on Friday, but they are unlikely to be made public before the end of the weekend.

Guinea’s election law stipulates that results must be announced within 72 hours of polls closing, but the interpretation of the law is proving controversial.

General Sangare has insisted that there was no delay.

“The interpretation of the supreme court is that the 72-hour rule does not begin until the last voting form has been handed to the authorities,” he said. “We still are still waiting for these forms from four districts. These include Siguiri in Upper Guinea and the overseas votes that will be transmitted by the embassies in France, Belgium and the Netherlands.”

For the interim authorities, however, the delay is starting to grate.

Prime Minister Jean-Marie Dore told FRANCE 24: “The population of the capital, Conakry, has a tendency to put forward hypotheses, and such hypotheses are often based on pure fantasy.

“We worry that people are going to start believing that this delay is down to the authorities looking for more time to manipulate the results.”

Meanwhile, under pressure from within and outside the country, interim President General Sekouba Konate called off a planned visit to Morocco on Thursday where he was due to receive medical attention.
 

Date created : 2010-11-12

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