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COVID-19 kills head of Guinea electoral body

President of Guinea’s electoral body, Commission Electorale Nationale Indépendante (CENI), Mamadou Salif Kébé has died of Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Kébé died on Friday after he reportedly contracted the disease from a visiting team member of an African civil society electoral experts, who were in Guinea for the country’s March 22, 2020 national referendum and legislative elections. 

Head of Communications of ECOWAS Network of Electoral Commissions (ECONEC), Paul Ejim said in a statement that the late Kébé was hospitalised for a few days in Conakry before he finally succumbed to the disease.

“Seven of the visitors, who are still stranded in Conakry because of the global coronavirus pandemic shutdown, are reported to have also tested positive for COVID-19,” Ejim said.

According to him, Guinea’s President Alpha Conde and the Chairman of Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, have reacted to Kébé’s death and have condoled with the family.

Prof. Yakubu who was  the immediate past President of the governing board of the ECOWAS Network of Electoral Commissions (ECONEC), described Kébé’s death “as most unfortunate and a great loss to Guinea and West Africa.”

Kébé was appointed CENI’s president in 2017, and his last public function was early this month when he announced the results of the controversial referendum and legislative polls, which were boycotted by opposition parties in the country, who accused President Conde of manipulating the electoral process.

The election was won Conde’s ruling party.ECOWAS and other International organisations did not send observers to monitor the elections. 

Guinea has more than 400 reported cases of COVID-19 with some five deaths.

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