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.
“They stole the vote in 2010, and they’ve stolen it again now,” the man added, referring to the controversy over the last election, when Mr. Condé came from well behind to beat Mr. Diallo in the second round of voting.
The chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Fatou Bensouda, has joined the list of figures warning against violence, calling on all parties to present their grievances in court, not the streets.
Despite the election’s many organizational flaws, observation missions from West Africa and the European Union have generally endorsed the vote, which passed peacefully after a campaign marred by violence. They said the vote was badly run but largely fair.