Voting begins in Guinea's presidential elections

07:52, June 28, 2010      

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Guineans went to polls to on Sunday in the first round of the presidential elections, some 18 months after the country suffered a coup d'etat.

Altogether 24 candidates are participating in the poll, which was seen as the first democratic one that will end a dictatorial regime in the West African country since its independence in 1958.

Some 4.2 million voters are expected to turn up and select the country's president, in a total of 8,427 polling centers in 38 sub- regions.

Guinea plunged into a political crisis on Dec. 23, 2008, when the military junta led by Moussa Dadis Camara took over power. Camara initially pledged not to run in future elections, but later went back on his words, triggering a bloodshed in Conakry in late September 2009.

On Dec. 3, 2009, Camara was shot and wounded in the head by an aide-de-camp. In January this year, he agreed to hand over power to his deputy Sekouba Konate, now Guinea's interim president, under the Ouagadougou peace deal and voluntarily went in exile for medical treatment.

Konate will not run for the presidency.

Main contenders included Alpha Conde from the Rally of Guinean People (RPG), Mamadou Cellou Dalein Diallo from the Union of Democratic Forces of Guinea (UFDG), Lansana Kouyate from the Party of National Development (PEDN), Ibrahima Abe Sylla from the New Generation Republic (NGR), Sidya Toure from the Union of Republican Forces (UFR), Hadja Saran Daraba Kaba from the Pan- African Democratic Convention (PDC) and the only female contestant, Francois Lonsseny Fall from the United Front for Democracy and Change (FUDEC), and Ousmane Bah from the Union for Progress and Renewal (UPR).

A second round of elections will be held in mid-July, if no candidate can secure a success in Sunday's vote.

Source: Xinhua


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