Presidential runoff in Guinea delayed

Oct. 22, 2010 at 3:21 PM
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CONAKRY, Guinea, Oct. 22 (UPI) -- The runoff presidential vote in Guinea has been put off to an undetermined date, the head of the electoral commission announced Friday.

The election had been scheduled for Sunday after being postponed twice. But Gen. Tommy Sangare, who assumed control of the commission Wednesday, said computers to be used to count the votes had been removed from commission offices and voter cards and sealed voter envelopes had not been sent to polling places, the BBC reported.

Guinea, a former French colony in western Africa, is one of the world's poorest countries and has been under authoritarian rule since winning independence in 1958. The military seized power in 2008.

The two candidates are Alpha Conde, 72, a veteran opposition leader, and former Prime Minister Cellou Dalein Diallo, 58, who served from 2004 to 2006. Conde won 18 percent of the first-round votes in June and Diallo 44 percent.

Two supporters of Diallo were shot dead by police this week during a demonstration demanding the removal of Sangare's predecessor. Both Diallo and Conde support Sangare, who was named by Sekouba Konate, the vice president, defense minister and effective head of state.

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