Farah Maalim warns against presidential runoff with story of his “Kikuyu” Guinean friend Cellou

Former National Assembly Deputy Speaker, and also former Lagdera constituency member of parliament Farah Maalim, warned the front-runners in the forthcoming country’s general elections against even entertaining the idea of a run-off in the polls. He said that these second round elections have the habit of eventually helping the underdog, and proceeded to give the 2010 interesting story of his friend and renown Guinean politician Cellou Dalein Diallo who he described as a Kikuyu of Guinea, having come from the Peul community, which is the largest in the country.

Farah was speaking on TV47’s political show, Pundits Night, which was hosted by Abubakar Abdullahi.

He shared that, the military seized power in the West African state after the death of autocratic President Lansana Conte, who ruled the mineral-rich country for 24 years.
Guinea was then led from January 2010 by the interim government of Gen Sekouba Konate, who took over from the leaders of the 2008 coup.

In the elections that were organised that year, Farah Maalim’s friend Mr. Diallo, who was also formerly the Prime Minister of the country, gained 44% of the first round vote in June, compared with 18% for Mr Alpha Conde.
However, none of all the aspirants was able to reach the mandatory 50 plus one, which was required in the constitution and, so the polls had to be dragged into a run-off.

In the run-off that followed, a strange occurrence took place where by poor voter turnout in Cellou’s strong holds, worsened by a galvanized opposition ensured that Mr. Conde gained 52.5% of votes in the 7 November poll against former Prime Minister Cellou Dalein Diallo.

Farah Maalim went on to say that going into next year’s election, the front runners would be best advised to lay down strategies which ensure that they clinch victory in the first round, and warned that any preconceived notions of an easy win in a runoff would eventually coat them.
Interestingly, just this week, Alpha Conde was entangled in a coup that saw him ousted as the country’s leader.

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