Election delay in Guinea welcomed

Sept. 24, 2013 at 9:35 AM
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WASHINGTON, Sept. 24 (UPI) -- A decision by the government in Guinea and political parties to delay legislative elections to Saturday is a welcomed move, the U.S. State Department said.

The West African nation of Guinea is trying to move from a military dictatorship to civilian rule though elections scheduled for December 2011 have been postponed several times. The United Nations said last weekend parliamentary elections set for Tuesday were delayed until Saturday to address opposition concerns over vote preparations.

"With this additional time, the technical preparations are now in place for elections and all parties are focused on the campaign," State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in a statement Monday. "The people of Guinea are to be commended for the competitive, peaceful and dignified manner in which they have campaigned for their political parties."

The Guinean government called for calm Monday after one person was killed and more than 50 others injured in political violence, Voice of America reported.

President Alpha Conde joined leaders of Guinean political parties in ensuring Saturday's vote would take place in an atmosphere of peace.

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