Monday 24 October 2016

Guinea president wins a second term but opponent pledges protest

Published 18/10/2015 | 00:56

Supporters of Guinea president Alpha Conde gather in a street to celebrate his election victory. (AP)
Supporters of Guinea president Alpha Conde gather in a street to celebrate his election victory. (AP)

Guinea president Alpha Conde has won a second term, the election commission has announced, avoiding a run-off with his closest rival who vowed to protest against the results.

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"I proclaim that Alpha Conde has been elected president of the republic in the first round," election commission head Bakary Fofana said.

Mr Conde received nearly 58% of the vote, while his main opponent, Cellou Dalein Diallo, had 31%, Mr Fofana said. About 68% of the approximately six million registered voters took part in the October 11 election, he added.

It was only the second democratic presidential contest since Guinea gained independence from France in 1958. Violence marked the run-up to the poll, with at least three people killed, and many worry that street protests in the coming days could lead to deadly confrontations with security forces.

At least seven people were killed in election-related violence in 2010 - when Mr Conde defeated Mr Diallo in a run-off - and 50 people died in the run-up to 2013 legislative elections, according to Human Rights Watch.

Earlier this week, Mr Diallo and fellow opposition candidate Sidya Toure - who was third in 2010 - alleged fraud and said they would not recognise the results.

Preliminary results had placed Mr Conde well out in front, and Mr Diallo told reporters in a statement delivered from his Conakry home that he would organise demonstrations, saying he did not trust the courts to address his concerns.

"I will invite the other candidates and all the citizens who are the real victims of this electoral hold-up to organise, conforming to the law, peaceful demonstrations to express our disapproval of this situation," he said.

Mr Conde's supporters credit him with improving the electricity supply in the capital and keeping the country relatively stable despite an Ebola epidemic that has killed more than 2,500 people in Guinea.

Press Association

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