Guinea opposition leader pulls himself from election process

AP News
Posted: Oct 14, 2015 3:33 PM
Guinea opposition leader pulls himself from election process

CONAKRY, Guinea (AP) — Guinea's main opposition candidate removed himself from the electoral process on Wednesday, his party said, days after the country's second democratic presidential election in more than 50 years.

Cellou Dalein Diallo's Union for the Democratic Forces of Guinea party said that the decision was made given the refusal by the government and the electoral commission to comply with a minimum of democratic rules, according to party spokesman Aboubacar Sylla.

Diallo faced off with President Alpha Conde in the second round of the country's first democratic elections in 2010. That led to ethnic and political violence.

The candidate who placed third in the first round of the 2010 election, Sidya Toure, on Monday also withdrew from the electoral process.

It was unclear if the politicians will remain removed once the results are given. Guinea's election commission said full provisional results have been postponed until Friday.

Diallo's announcement comes after Guinea Justice Minister Cheick Sako called on Guineans, especially politicians, to refrain from inciting violence or undermining the country's laws, saying unrest will be punished by the law.

International Criminal Court prosecutor Fatou Bensouda has said the court is following developments in Guinea closely to see if any unrest falls under its jurisdiction.

Violence before the Oct. 11 presidential vote killed at least three people. There have been some reports of unrest outside the capital since the vote and after opposition leaders said they wouldn't recognize results because of allegations of voting fraud.

The government of Conde, who is favored to win the election in a second round, denied that there was fraud.

Guinea has endured decades of corrupt dictatorship since independence from France in 1958. In 2008, after the longtime strongman died, a military coup led to tumultuous rule until the junta's leader agreed to go into exile.