afrol News, 28 October - Despite yet another delay in Guinea's presidential run-off elections, stakeholders maintain the democratisation process is on track and that polls we be held non-violent and orderly.
The two rivals to become Guinea's first democratically elected President, Alpha Condé and Cellou Dalein Diallo, after some conflict have now both rallied behind the decision to go through with the new election date, 7 November.
The new date was set by the country's military transitional President, General Sékouba Konaté, who decreed that the run-off would be held on 7 November. The decree was read out on Guinean state television yesterday.
The first round of the presidential elections was held in June, with Mr Diallo getting most votes, followed by Mr Condé. But none of them reached 50 percent of the vote, and the necessary run-off between the two men since has been delayed three times.
The postponements have, among other reasons, been driven by Mr Condé's demands to improve voting conditions in his strongholds, claiming voters in the first round had suffered from poor infrastructure here. But also a conflict about the vacated post of chairman in the Independent Election Commission and repeated clashes between followers of the two candidates in Conakry has contributed to the delays.
Military leader Konaté, who seized power in December 2009 and soon promised a democratic transition process, has tried to keep out of the political turmoil to make sure the Guinean army keeps out of politics after the inauguration of a democratically elected new government. But he was pressurised from both within Guinea and from international players to use his authority to find a way out of the impasse.
The leader of the Independent Election Commission (CENI), Toumany Sangare, has shouldered General Konaté's decreed election date. Candidates Diallo and Condé this weekend jointly called for calm and repeated their support for the transitional process.
The US-based Carter Centre, which has had its election observers deployed in the country since May 2010 and continues to monitor the process, today also called for calm and noted that the electoral process was still on track.
A spokesman of the renowned institution hailed the decision of General Konaté to intervene. The Carter Centre commended Mr Konaté "for his leadership in resolving the crisis at the CENI and for his continued determination to guide the transition process." Ex-President Jimmy Carter added that the majority of Guineans had "shown patience."
Also the UN, which has been deeply engaged in Guinea's transition process, was pleased by the announcement of a new run-off date in near future. Said Djinnit, the UN's Special Representative for West Africa, had recently warned that further delays could "seriously undermine the transition process" in the country.
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