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African Union Urges Guinea to Hold Runoff Election by Aug. 22

The African Union said Guinea should hold a second round of elections as soon as possible, after the vote was postponed indefinitely last month.

The run-off should take place no later than Aug. 22, Burkina Faso President Blaise Compaore told reporters yesterday in the Guinean capital, Conakry. Compaore was appointed in January by the AU to mediate an end to a political crisis in the West African nation.

“We have to seize this opportunity” to show that Africa is capable of managing elections, Compaore said.

Former Guinean Prime Minister Cellou Dalein Diallo won 43.7 percent of the vote in the first round of the election, while Alpha Conde, the leader of the Rally for the Guinean People, garnered 18.2 percent. A runoff was scheduled for July 18 before being postponed indefinitely after political parties lodged complaints with the Supreme Court about voting irregularities.

On July 27, the electoral commission proposed the run-off be held on Aug. 14.

Twenty-four candidates competed in elections on June 27, a year and a half after army Captain Moussa Dadis Camara seized power following the death of former President Lansana Conte, who ruled for two decades. The West African nation hasn’t had a democratic transfer of power since it gained independence from France in 1958.

Guinea is the world’s biggest exporter of bauxite, a raw material used in aluminum production. Companies including United Co. Rusal, the largest aluminum producer, and AngloGold Ashanti Ltd., the world’s third-biggest gold-mining company, have operations in the country.

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