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A portrait of Union of Republican Force candidate Sidya Toure/AFP

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Guinea postpones elections to September 28

A portrait of Union of Republican Force candidate Sidya Toure/AFP

A portrait of Union of Republican Force candidate Sidya Toure/AFP

CONAKRY, Sept 22 – Guinea’s long-delayed nationwide elections, which were due to be held on Tuesday, have been postponed to September 28 after negotiations between the government and the opposition, a UN official said.

The UN facilitator for dialogue in Guinea, Said Djinnit said that after widespread consultations an “exceptional delay of four days for final adjustments before the elections” was decided upon.

Djinnit made the announcement at a press conference attended by leaders of the opposition Cellou Dalein Diallo and Sidya Toure, as well as the presidential majority.

Diallo, the west African nation’s main opposition leader, has accused the president’s camp and the electoral commission of conniving to rig the vote.

Welcoming the four-day delay, Diallo said it is “a compromise on which we can place hopes that CENI (the electoral commission) would proceed with correcting the anomalies”.

The delay is just one of several postponements of the poll, initially due to have been held within six months of the swearing-in of President Alpha Conde in December 2010.

Disagreements between opposing factions on how the elections should be organised have sparked nationwide protests that have left more than 50 dead since 2011.

The last parliamentary elections in Guinea took place in June 2002 during the dictatorship of General Lansana Conte, who died in December 2008 after 24 years in power.

The latest delay had been agreed following “consultations” between politicians and representatives of the international community, including the UN, Djinnit said.

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“On behalf of the international community, I am pleased to announce to all Guineans that all stakeholders in the electoral process have subscribed to this commitment.

“We are convinced that with this agreement, nothing will hinder the holding of free, transparent legislative elections on Saturday September 28, 2013, in Guinea,” said Djinnit.

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