Guinea presidential must not be postponed, say US, France

8th October 2010, Comments 0 comments

Guinea must run the second round of its presidential election on October 24, the French and US embassies in Conarky said late Thursday, calling on the two candidates to act responsibly.

"The election must take place on October 24 without any possibility of postponement that would allow the anti-democratic forces to foil this historic transition," they said in a joint statement.

It also called on both candidates to act "in a responsible manner", to control their supporters and to avoid any action that might provoke violence.

The second round of the country's presidential elections, is a run-off between Cellou Dalein Diallo, a former prime minister, and veteran opposition politician Alpha Conde.

Each has accused the other of trying to manipulate the country's electoral commission (CENI).

Diallo and Conde had been due to face off on September 19 but the poll was called off four days before the vote after CENI said logistical and technical problems meant they needed more time to prepare.

The decision came after deadly clashes between the two candidates' supporters.

But General Sekouba Konate, Guinea's military junta chief, who has worked to hand over power to elected civilians, insisted that a new date be set for the second-round vote.

In their statement, France and the United States also paid tribute to Konate's efforts to oversee the transition to democracy.

© 2010 AFP

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