May 29, 2008, 5:01 AM
Guinea's interim leader General Sekouba Konateh should be commended for the giant steps he has taken on Tuesday by announcing on the state media that he has given the National Electoral Commission (CENI) till 10 October 2010 to hold the second round of the presidential elections.
The second round, scheduled for 19 September 2010, was postponed following ethnic violence in the country, which led to the loss of lives.
It follows the first round held in June, which many described as a peaceful and trouble-free election. What followed the first round of the elections is not news to many people.
Shortly after the results were announced, the opposition leader, Professor Alpha Condeh, as has happened before in many other African countries, immediately cried foul and challenged the results at the country's Supreme Court.
This led to the conviction of the chief of the National Electoral Commission, who died from natural causes, shortly before the postponement of the second round.
Now that General Konateh has made it clear to the electoral body, they should not be seen to be wasting time, as the earlier the elections, the better it is for the people of Guinea.
It is high time Guineans, especially political leaders, forgot their ethnic problems and allowed the democratic process to take its rightful course, in the interest of peace and stability in the country.
The ultimatum given by General Konateh should be respected by the National Electoral Commission. The political leaders should also call on their party militants to be calm, and to stop the violence in order to allow the second round of voting go on smoothly, in the interest of democracy.
The international community should also provide adequate resources for the running of the elections to enable the electoral commission have all the needed materials at their disposal. This can be done through the creation of a basket fund for Guinea.
Since General Konateh is ready to relinquish power, it is up to Guineans now to decide their fate, and not allow the military to interfere in the country’s politics.
The world is watching, and it is now time for Guineans to act before it is too late.
"When you find peace within yourself, you become the kind of person who can live at peace with others"