UN Pleads For Peace as Guinea Votes Today

Guinea’s President Alpha Conde greets his supporters in Conakry on October 31, 2019. – Tens of thousands of Guineans rallied in support of President Alpha Conde on October 31, 2019, after two weeks of violent protests against the leader’s suspected bid to prolong his rule claimed around 10 lives. (Photo by CELLOU BINANI / AFP)

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called for peaceful and credible presidential election in Guinea on Sunday.

Guterres’ message was contained in a statement by his spokesman, Mr Stephane Dujarric, on Saturday amid high political tension in the run up to the polls.

Incumbent President Alpha Condé is seeking a controversial third term that has reportedly triggered deadly clashes between his supporters and those of the opposition.

Reports say the situation has worsened following the killing of a senior army officer, Col. Mamady Condé, by armed men on Friday.

The incident occurred amid reports of an attempted mutiny in which soldiers seized weapons to free some of their colleagues in detention.

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“On the eve of the presidential elections in Guinea, the Secretary-General calls on all national stakeholders to ensure that the polls are conducted in an inclusive and peaceful manner.

“He also calls on all political leaders and their supporters to refrain from acts of incitement, inflammatory language, ethnic profiling and violence.

“He urges the defence and security forces to act responsibly and with utmost restraint,” the statement said.

It quoted the UN Chief as urging political leaders and their parties to explore legal means of resolving any dispute that may arise from the elections.

Guterres reiterated the commitment of the UN to supporting the country’s efforts at promoting national unity.

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The 82-year-old president is running in the election after influencing a constitutional change to extend his stay in office in spite of criticisms.

He is facing his main rival, Cellou Diallo, whom he has defeated twice.

A winner needs not less than 50 per cent of the votes to emerge, failure of which there would be a second round on Nov. 24.

Condé, a former opposition leader, was first elected in 2010, and is seeking a third term of six years.

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