by Laura Hirahara
Impunity Watch Reporter, Africa Desk
Conakry, Guinea– The next stage of Guinea’s presidential election, originally scheduled to take place July 18th, has been postponed amid allegations and confirmed instances of voter fraud with no new date set. The first round of voting on July 27th, in which 77 percent of registered Guinea voters took part, occurred without violence. However, since the results were announced by Guinea’s Supreme Court, many of the 24 candidates that did not make the run-off have made official complaints of voter fraud. The electoral commission charged with investigating voting irregularities has confirmed “many cases of fraud,” in addition to the claims being made.
Slated to face each other in the run-off election are candidates Cellou Dalein Diallo, who garnered 40 percent of the first round vote, and opposition leader Alpha Conde, who came in second with 21 percent. Guinea’s election rules state that a second round is needed if no candidate wins at least 50 percent of the vote. With the delay, observers are afraid the election may not take place before August 1st, which falls in the middle of the rainy season. Due to the rains effect on the roads in Guinea, the logistics of a second round of voting at this time could create difficulty for voting and vote collecting.
This last Wednesday, US President Barack Obama offered praise for Guinea’s peaceful first round of elections. In his statement, Obama spoke about the upcoming election saying, “They can continue to count on the support of the United States as they move forward.”
For more information, please see:
The Seattle Times–Guinea Presidential Runoff Delayed–9 July, 2010
AFP–Guinea Presidential Run-Off Election Postponed–9 July, 2010
BBC–Guinea’s Presidential Run-Off Delayed Over Fraud Claims–9 July, 2010