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 has a history of political violence linked to ethnic tensions, including protests during the 2010 campaign that brought Conde to power. Police in the capital on Wednesday fired tear gas at protesters while the government called for calm.
“However the results turn out, we will see that they have nothing to do with reality. In any case, we will not recognize them,” said Diallo campaign director Aboubacar Sylla.
Diallo’s decision would not impede the vote count or the declaration of results, but analysts said it could help to tarnish perceptions of the validity of the election, especially among his supporters.