Guinea’s incumbent President Alpha Conde won the country’s second democratic election, but Guinea’s opposition parties have rejected the results and called for demonstrations. Bakary Fofana Fofana, the head of Guinea’s Independent National Electoral Commission, announced President Alpha Conde’s re-election victory late Saturday. Fofana said before the constitutional court’s final validation of the results, the electoral commission proclaims Conde as the winner in the first round of voting held last Sunday. Before the results were announced, Guinea’s main opposition leader and former Prime Minister Cellou Dalein Diallo announced he and the six other opposition candidates would reject them.
Articles about voting issues in the Republic of Guinea.
Guinea President Alpha Conde has won a second term, the election commission announced Saturday, avoiding a runoff with his closest rival, who vowed to protest the results. “I proclaim that Alpha Conde has been elected president of the republic in the first round,” election commission head Bakary Fofana said Saturday night. Conde received nearly 58 percent of the Oct. 11 vote, while his main opponent, Cellou Dalein Diallo, had 31 percent, Fofana said. About 68 percent of the approximately 6 million registered voters took part in the Oct. 11 election, Fofana said. 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.
Even before the vote, the scales were widely seen to be tipped in favor of the incumbent. The presence of President Alpha Condé in the national news media dwarfed that of his rivals, while the trademark yellow of his Rally of the Guinean People party dominated the potholed streets of the city center, on posters and billboards firmly reminding voters who was in charge. As one diplomat at the French Embassy put it, “He held all the cards.” All seven opposition candidates have gone further, condemning the vote held on Sunday as fraudulent. The president’s main rival, Cellou Dalein Diallo, pulled himself out of contention on Wednesday, and opposition supporters have clashed with the police, all before final results have been announced. “I have no president,” shouted one protester during a standoff.
Guinea’s main opposition leader Celloun Dalein Diallo withdrew on Wednesday from the presidential election, alleging fraud, and will not recognize the outcome, his campaign director said. The decision came as the national election commission began to announce early results from a vote held on Sunday that is expected to return incumbent Alpha Conde to a second five-year term. Figures from three of the capital Conakry’s five communes showed Conde won 55 percent, 60 percent and 49 percent of the vote. All results must be ratified by the West African country’s constitutional court.
Guinea’s opposition candidates said Monday they will not recognize provisional results for the country’s presidential election, citing fraud — a move criticized by the government. “The Guinean opposition will not recognize the outcome of the poll. We call for outright cancellation of this election,” main opposition candidate Cellou Dalein Diallo said at a news conference alongside six other candidates who are running against President Alpha Conde. Diallo said there were flagrant violations of the laws, ballot boxes were stuffed and voters intimidated.
All seven opposition leaders who contested Guinea’s presidential election against incumbent Alpha Conde said on Monday the result should be annulled because of fraud. Their declaration is likely to stoke tension in the West African country, which has a history of political violence, including at the 2010 election that brought Conde to power. Conde, who rose to power in a military coup, is favored to win a second term, although the result from Sunday’s vote may be close enough to require a second round. Early results announced by radio stations so far showed Conde in the lead. The opposition candidates, including the main opposition leader, Cellou Dalein Diallo, told a news conference that there were numerous examples of fraud in the election. Diallo said voters registered this year in the city of Labe in central Guinea received no voting cards and only those who voted in 2010 could cast their ballots on Sunday. “The election was a masquerade which started yesterday and still continues today at the central (election) commission level. In these conditions, we again demand that the election be scrapped because we cannot recognize results issued through this process,” Diallo said.
Guinea started counting votes in Sunday’s presidential election, which the opposition has said was marred by irregularities. European Union observers said there were some delays opening polling stations. Overall, though, the voting progressed in a credible way, Frank Engel, the European Union’s chief observer, told reporters on Sunday. The opposition said on Saturday it would probably refuse to accept the results. The first tally of votes will be released as early as Thursday, the electoral commission said. Voting was extended by two hours to accommodate voters at precincts that opened late. Guinea is the world’s largest exporter of bauxite. “The electoral commission probably was less ready than what it asserted,” Engel said. “I have the impression at this moment that what we saw, observed and which was indicated to us does not smear the regularity of the vote.”
Guinea’s opposition candidates said Tuesday they would participate in the first round of the October 11 presidential election, while cautioning that “dysfunctional” aspects of the voting process must be addressed. The country’s main opposition had called Thursday for the vote to be postponed until later in October to allow the election commission time to correct “anomalies” in the electoral roll. Clashes between supporters of Guinea’s ruling party and opposition activists left at least one dead and more than 80 wounded last week, as tension mounted ahead of the presidential election.
Guinea is preparing for its second presidential election since returning to democracy in 2010. But a survey shows many are distrustful of the election authorities. Incumbent leader Alpha Conde is seeking a second term in Sunday’s election. His main challenger is former prime minister Cellou Dalein Diallo, who ran against Conde in the 2010 vote and lost. During his 2010 campaign, Diallo accused Guinea’s election authority, the National Independent Electoral Commission, of bias. A new survey from research firm Afrobarometer shows that suspicion has lived on.
As the Guinean presidential election draws closer, the population is growing increasingly nervous. Many fear a repetition of the 2010 unrest and violent clashes in the capital Conakry. On October 11 some six million Guineans, about half the population of the West African nation, will elect a new president. There are eight candidates, including incumbent president Alpha Conde and his two main rivals, opposition leader Cellou Dalein Diallo, of the Union of Democratric Forces in Guinea (UFDG), and Sydia Toure of the Union of Republican Forces (UFR), a former prime minister. However, the opposition lacks a clear position. First there was a boycott threat, then the demand for a postponement, then the threats were withdrawn. A little over a week before the election, the seven candidates running against Conde called for the poll to be postponed by a week, claiming there were mistakes in the electoral register. Vincente Foucher, a Guinea expert at the International Crisis Group, says the idea is not unreasonable “when you see for how many months this election has provoked controversy, demonstrations, violence and arrests.”