Guinea election hopeful Conde cancels peace tour with rival

By Nangayi Guyson – Conakry – AFP- Guinean presidential candidate Alpha Conde pulled out Thursday of a scheduled joint tour of a peace with rival Cellou Dalein Diallo, saying his supporters were against the visit, a spokesperson said.

The tour was aimed to ease tensions between their followers ahead of the vote.

A spokesman for Alpha Conde said that his supporters had opposed him travelling to the areas affected by violence with his opponent.
It is his base that is against this tour,” said Francois Lonseny Fall, spokesperson for the pro-Conde Rainbow alliance.

A spokesperson for Conde’s Rally of the People of Guinea (RPG), Ahmed Tidiane Traore, confirmed that “RPG militants don’t agree that their candidate should move because it is not necessary”.

The two presidential candidates, accompanied by government and religious representatives, were to take an “awareness tour” to regional hotspots where political and ethnic violence have flared prior to a run-off presidential vote.

Rival presidential candidate and poll favourite Cellou Dalein Diallo accordingly decided to cancel his own trip.

“I’m disappointed,” he told AFP.

The regional visit was announced on state radio on Wednesday night shortly after transition president, General Sekouba Konate issued a decree announcing the latest date for elections as November 7, after several postponements.

The chairman of the electoral commission, Siaka Sangare, told state radio and television that the new date was “consensual and irrevocable”, adding: “I dare say, the last one in this ballot awaited by the Guinean people.”

The run-off had been scheduled for this weekend, but election chief Gen Toumany Sangare said it had to be postponed because of logistical problems.

The military seized power in 2008 after the death of long-time strongman leader Lansana Conte, but army rule led to more political upheaval and the soldiers eventually agreed to transfer power back to civilians.