New date set for Guinea presidential run-off poll

By Nangayi Guyson – Conakry – BBC-The new head of Guinea’s electoral commission has proposed 7 November, according to a presidential decree read out on state TV as the date for the country’s much-delayed presidential run-off.

The vote was initially due to be held in July, but street violence and political infighting have forced it to be postponed three times.

Gen Siaka Toumani Sangare told the country’s transitional government on Tuesday that he believes the vote could go on but It was not immediately clear if both presidential candidates had agreed to the new date.

Last weekend, the two rival presidential candidates – Alpha Conde and Cellou Dalein Diallo – appealed for calm following two days of violence in the capital, Conakry.

The pair had earlier accused each other’s supporters of inciting violence.

The run-off was scheduled for this weekend, but election chief Gen Toumany Sangare said it had been cancelled due to logistical problems.

The UN and US had both urged Guinea to set a new date as soon as possible to avoid instability.

Mr Diallo is seen as the favourite to win the run-off. He took 44% of the votes in the first round – and claims he was denied overall victory by fraud.

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.

Guineans has been subjected to 52 years of authoritarian rule since it gained independence from France.