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Guinea incumbent Conde wins disputed election

October 17, 2015

President Alpha Conde won the absolute majority in the first round of Guinea election, according to country's electoral commission. His rival Cellou Dalein Diallo has called for protests, labeling the vote illegal.

Guinea Wahlen Alpha Conde
Image: Getty Images/AFP/C. Binani

The results in the West African nation showed Conde winning with almost 58 percent of the vote, negating the need for a run-off ballot, the electoral commission (CENI) said on Saturday.

"Ahead of the definitive confirmation of the results by the Constitutional Court, CENI declares that professor Alpha Conde has won in the first round," said commission chief Bakary Fofana.

The final results of last Sunday vote put the Conde way ahead the main opposition contender Cellou Dalein Diallo, who gathered some 31,5 percent of the votes. The officials also put turnout at around 68 percent of the six million eligible voters.

The opposition, however, condemned the vote as fraudulent even before the final results were announced, with Diallo accusing the government of ballot stuffing, intimidation, changing the electoral map and enabling minors to vote.

Earlier on Saturday, Diallo urged protests against what he called an "electoral hold-up."

"I will invite other candidates and the citizens, who are the real victims of this electoral hold-up, to organize peaceful demonstrations in accordance with the law to express our outrage," he said in a statement.

Road to violence

Around dozen people were killed in clashes ahead of the election last Sunday, heightening tensions in the country with a history of political violence.

However, EU observers proclaimed the vote itself to be valid, noting only minor irregularities. They have yet to comment on the vote tallying process.

On Saturday, Conde's spokesman Albert Damantang Camara condemned Diallo's call for protests, saying "there has never been a peaceful demonstration in Guinea".

"Asking people to come out into the streets risks dragging the country into instability, chaos and violence," Camara told the AFP news agency.

"We continue to ask our supporters to stay calm, avoid gloating and get ready to face the numerous challenges that await us," he added.

Conde's rival Diallo also said he would not appeal to the country's Constitutional Court, which is set to ratify the election after an eight-day appeal deadline.

Guinea gained independence from France in 1958, with only two authoritarian rulers controlling the country for the next five decades.

dj/xx (Reuters, AP, AFP)