October 13, 2010 / 6:29 AM / in 8 years

Guinea presidential hopeful steps up boycott threat

Posters for Guinea's presidential candidates color the outside of a home in downtown Conakry, September 18, 2010. REUTERS/Joseph Penney

CONAKRY (Reuters) - Guinea presidential hopeful Cellou Dallein Diallo is still opposed to taking part in a run-off election on October 24 despite having agreed to share power with his opponent whoever wins, his spokesman said on Tuesday.

The threat from Guinea’s former prime minister could derail a transfer of power back to civilians in the world’s top bauxite supplier, which has been run by a military junta since a December 2008 coup.

Diallo, who took 44 percent of the first-round vote in June, and his rival Alpha Conde, who took just over 18 percent, agreed on Monday to share power regardless of who wins, by including the loser in government.

In the past Diallo had said he would not participate in the election unless the head of the electoral commission, known as the CENI, is removed. Spokesman Mamadou Bah Baddiko said the boycott threat still stands despite the power sharing agreement.

“We do not want Louceny Camara at the head of the CENI. If he is maintained in this post, there will be no election in this country,” Baddiko told Reuters.

“We are ready to accept any other person, either Guinean or foreign, provided they are committed to organising a free, transparent and credible election,” he said.

The power-sharing agreement was aimed at maintaining peace in the tumultuous country, where street violence between the rival camps killed one person and injured 50 in September.

Diallo and Conde are from Guinea’s most populous ethnic groups, the Peul and Malinke respectively, and analysts have said ethnic violence could destabilize a region recovering from three civil wars.

Louceny Camara, the CENI head, is from neither ethnicity.

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