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Guinea Votes in Its First Democratic Presidential Election
The New York Times
8 November 2010
(…) Sunday’s vote unfolded calmly as citizens lined up outside schools and other polling places, waiting to cast ballots in a runoff election originally scheduled for last summer. Since then, disputes over the leadership of the electoral commission and fighting between rival ethnic groups allied with each of the two candidates have led to repeated postponements.
But apart from the late arrival of voting materials — ink and ballots — at polling places in this nation of about 10 million people, international observers said they noted few hitches on Sunday (…)
(…) Elections were organized by the officer’s successor, Gen. Sékouba Konaté, who had become the transitional president and declared his willingness to hand over power.
But the initial optimism of late June, when the country held a peaceful primary vote after more than five decades of dictatorship, dampened as political rivalry split along ethnic lines (…)
(…) Late in October, security forces used live ammunition during a demonstration; one man was killed. In the north, hundreds of Peuls fled their homes in majority-Malinké villages to escape the ethnic violence.
Elsewhere, voter after voter expressed the simple hope that the election, however it turned out, would simply bring peace. Results are expected by the middle of next week (…)
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