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UN envoy to hold talks in Guinea ahead of presidential run-off

12 October 2010 – The top United Nations official in West Africa will travel to Guinea on Wednesday to extend the world body’s support to the efforts to create the conditions for a peaceful second round of presidential elections, which is now planned for 24 October.

Said Djinnit, the Special Representative of the Secretary General for West Africa, will meet with Interim President Sékouba Konaté and the two candidates in the presidential election run-off, UN spokesperson Martin Nesirky told reporters.

Guinea’s independent electoral authority, known as CENI, had cited technical difficulties when it postponed the ballot between Cellou Dalein Diallo and Alpha Condé, the two candidates with the highest number of votes in the first round of voting in June.

Mr. Djinnit has warned that further delays could seriously undermine the transition process in Guinea. At least one person died earlier this month following clashes in the capital, Conakry, related to the election tensions, and Guinea has been plagued by misrule, dictatorships and coups since it gained independence in 1958.

Following his visit to Conakry, the Special Representative will travel to Abuja, Nigeria, where he will meet on Thursday with the President of the Commission of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to discuss Guinea and other regional issues.

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