ECOWAS Leaders Call for Run-Off Election in Guinea Within Three Weeks

Saturday, 18th September 2010

Abuja, Nigeria - The Authority of ECOWAS Heads of State and Government has expressed concern about developments in the political situation in Guinea, making specific reference to the postponement of the date of the second round  of the presidential election previously scheduled for 19 September 2010.

In a statement read by the President of the ECOWAS Commission, Ambassador James Victor Gbeho at the close of the one-day Extraordinary Session of the Authority of Heads of State and Government on Guinea Bissau in the Nigerian political capital Abuja Saturday, the Authority acknowledged efforts made so far to mitigate the shortcomings that were observed during the first round of the election, and acknowledged the challenges that should be taken up to ensure smooth running of the electoral process in a peaceful environment.

The Authority is accordingly urging the Guinean Electoral Commission
(CENI) to take all necessary measures with a view to identifying the technical and logistical challenges that are still pending in preparation for the second round.

“In order not to jeopardize the progress already made in the process for a return to constitutional order in Guinea, the Authority is urging all stakeholders to immediately announce a date for the effective holding of the second round of the presidential election, which should take place no later than three weeks from now,” the Authority said.

The ECOWAS Authority is meanwhile urging the population of Guinea to exercise “restraint, tolerance and respect for law and order”.

The Authority is especially appealing to Mr. Cellou Dalein Diallo and Professor Alpha Conde, the two candidates contesting the second round of the presidential election, to “strictly comply with provisions of the Memorandum of Understanding signed on 3 September 2010 in Ouagadougou under the aegis of His Excellency Blaise Campaore, President of Burkina Faso and ECOWAS Mediator in the Guinean crisis, and to ensure that they conduct a patriotic and responsible campaign that would contribute to the preservation of cohesion and unity in Guinea”.

The Authority expressed sincere gratitude to HE Blaise Campaore, President of Burkina Faso, for the excellent work that he continues to carry out on behalf of ECOWAS, and encouraged him to continue his mediation efforts for the resolution of the crisis in Guinea.

The ECOWAS Heads of State and Government reiterated their support for General Sekouba Konate, President of the National Transitional Council (CNT), for his commitment to the crisis resolution process in Guinea.