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Guinea presidential election to go ahead

The country's constitutional court has ruled out postponing Sunday's election despite calls from opposition parties. Incumbent Alpha Conde faces challenges from six other hopefuls but is likely to retain the top job.

Leading Guinea opposition leader Cellou Dalein Diallo has agreed to take part in Sunday's presidential election, despite calling for the constitutional court to delay the poll by a week.

Diallo, who is seen as a main challenge to incumbent President Alpha Conde, said he had consulted with his party and political allies before deciding whether to boycott the polls. But he maintained the election would be flawed.

"We will vote, defend our suffrage, defend our victory because there is no way we will let our victory be stolen," said Diallo, a former premier.

Cellou Dalein Diallo

Former prime Minister Cellou Dalein Diallo said he will take part in Sunday's vote despite misgivings about its legitimacy

Six opposition parties had requested that the constitutional court delay the polls for at least one week to address what they claimed were irregularities in the process. But their calls were denied.

Guinea's capital Conakry has been rocked by several days of violence, although the city remained calm ahead of polling stations opening on Sunday.

At least three people were killed and dozens injured this week in clashes between opposition protesters and security forces.

Eighteen of the injured were members of the armed forces, state television said.

Other clashes took place in Kerouane and Kissidougou in the southeast of the country, officials confirmed.

Alpha Conde

77-year-old Alpha Condé became the country's first freely elected president five years ago after years in opposition

Conde, who came to power during Guinea's first democratic election in 2010, is favored to win re-election though a second round of voting will likely be required.

Before the polls opened, he called for calm saying in a pre-recorded message: "I ask you to go vote calmly and to preserve the peace ...Guinea is you, me, him. Avoid fighting."

mm/jm (AFP, dpa, Reuters)