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ECOWAS Election observers gear up for Guinean polls

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About 100 election observers from ECOWAS are participating in the presidential election in Guinea scheduled for the 11th of October 2015.
The ECOWAS election Mission is headed by former Liberian president Amos Sawyer who had similarly led the ECOWAS election observation Mission to neighbouring Guinea Bissau for her legislative and presidential elections in April 2014.
The ECOWAS election Mission personnel is made up of two teams of long term (15) and short term (85) observers. The former group is already on ground while batches of the latter are arriving the country.
They are being deployed to the core electoral zones making up Guinea’s four regions- Guinea Maritime (Conakry-Kindia-Boke), Moyenne Guinea (Labe-Mamou-Dalaba), Haute Guinea (Kankan-Faranah-Kissidougou) and Guinea Forestiere (Nzerekore-Guekedou-Beyla).
Incumbent president Alpha Conde of the Rally of the Guinean People (RPG) is seeking a second and final term in office. He is being challenged by Cellou Dalein Diallo of the main opposition party, the Union of Democratic Forces of Guinea (UFDG).
The other six contenders are Sidya Toure of the Union des Forces Republicaines (UFR) Lansana Kouyate- Party de l’Espoir pour le Development National (PEDN) Papa Koly Kourouma-Generation pour la Reconciliation l’Union Guinea (GRUP) Georges Ghandi Toukara-Union Guinea pour la Democracy et le Development (UGDD) Faya Millimono- Bloc Liberal (BL) party as well as the only female contender Marie Madeleine Dioubate of the Party des Ecologistes de Guinea (PEG)
Campaigns in Guinea which were thrown open on the 10th of September 2015 end on Friday October 9, 2015. Election Day offences include registration under a false name or by fraudulent means, destruction of any election materials, being in possession of an offensive weapon, delay of electoral process by violence or threat, and donations or gifts in cash or kind to influence votes.
The total number of registered voters for the October polls is 6, 042, 647 in 14,426 polling units (including diaspora voting). Voting is expected to be between 7 am to 6 pm on voting day(s). The eligibility criteria include that the voter must be a Guinean, be 18 years and above, must possess an electoral card while name must be on the voters register.
Under the watch of the ECOWAS Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security (PAPS) Dr. Slamatu Sulaiman, the ECOWAS observers Mission is being coordinated by the Director of Political Affairs Dr. Remi Ajibewa and Head, Elections Observations Technical Team Mr. Francis Oke.
Versed and experienced, the head of ECOWAS Guinea election observers Mission, Sawyer has over the years, led electoral observation missions for the African Union, ECOWAS and the National Democratic Institute in Mali, Sierra Leone, Ghana, and Nigeria, among others.
Overseeing of the Guinean election is by the invitation of the President of the ECOWAS Commission Kadré Désiré Ouedraogo.
Election observation is consistent with the ECOWAS protocol on good governance and democracy.

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