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.
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.”
Guinea: Curfew Imposed Amid Violent Clashes Between Supporters Of Conde And Diallo | International Business Times
Authorities in Guinea imposed a curfew in the city of Nzerekore overnight Monday following violent clashes between rival political groups ahead of the presidential election. Dozens were injured in fighting over the weekend and local media sources said one person was killed, according to Reuters. “The situation is very, very serious. We have 29 people with gunshot injuries,” Aboubacar Mbopp Camara, prefect for Nzerekore, told reporters Monday. Medical charity Alliance for International Medical Action said on Twitter Monday that more than 80 people had been admitted to its local hospital for a range of injuries inflicted by bullets, stones and batons.
Dozens of people were hurt during fighting over the weekend between rival political groups, before a presidential election scheduled for Oct. 11, local authorities said on Monday. Supporters of different parties clashed on Friday and Saturday in the city of Nzerekore in Guinea’s Forest Region during a visit by President Alpha Conde. Residents say calm was restored by a series of arrests and the imposition of a curfew. “The situation is very, very serious. We have 29 people with gunshot injuries,” Aboubacar Mbopp Camara, prefect for Nzerekore, told reporters.
Guinea’s opposition sought to spur protests across the country against a disputed election timetable on Thursday after days of violent clashes in the capital, even as the president ruled out any review. Violence between supporters of the opposition Union of Republican Forces (UFR) and police during unauthorised protests in Conakry left several dead in recent days, but supporters are undeterred and seeking to consolidate their regional backing. Guinean President Alpha Conde insisted Wednesday that the country’s constitution rules out the kind of changes to the election timetable sought by opposition supporters.
Guinea’s opposition withdrew its lawmakers from parliament Wednesday and said it would no longer recognise the election commission in protest over the timetable for presidential elections. The vote is due to be held in the Ebola-hit nation on October 11, the commission said last week, following doubts over its timing. “We decided yesterday… to suspend our participation in the work of the National Assembly and withdraw our 49 lawmakers until further notice and no longer recognise the national independent election commission,” said opposition leader Cellou Dalein Diallo. The opposition has accused President Alpha Conde of using the Ebola epidemic as an excuse to postpone elections and of refusing to enter into a dialogue over the timetable. More than 10,000 people have died of Ebola, almost all in west Africa, since it emerged in Guinea in December 2013.
Guinea will hold the first round of a presidential election on Oct. 11, the West African nation’s electoral commission said on Tuesday, a decision opposition parties called unconstitutional. President Alpha Conde is widely seen as the favourite to win a second term in Africa’s largest bauxite exporter, analysts have said, though he has not officially confirmed his candidacy. Etienne Soropogui, deputy direct of operations at the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI), said that because of Oct. 11 date, local council elections would be pushed back until next year. Opposition parties said the move breaks an agreement that local council elections would be held before the presidential vote.
President Alpha Conde’s ruling party won 53 seats in Guinea’s September 28 legislative election, falling short of securing an outright majority in the West African nation’s 114-seat parliament, the electoral commission said on Friday. Provisional results published by the commission showed that the main opposition UFDG party, led by Conde’s rival, Cellou Dalein Diallo, won 37 seats while former Prime Minister Sidya Toure’s UFR secured 10 seats. Other smaller parties grabbed the remaining seats. No party was expected to win an outright majority and parties are expected to try to form coalitions following the long-delayed and tense election in the world’s top bauxite producer. Conde’s RPG has been in power since 2010.
The United Nations and the international community on Sunday called upon Guinea’s electoral commission to publish results of a September 28 election aimed at completing a transition to democracy, saying it was concerned over the delay. Disputes over a published partial count have held up the final result and raised fears of a resurgence of violence that killed about 50 people before the vote. The opposition is calling for the election to be annulled, dampening hopes for an end to years of instability since a 2008 military coup that deterred investment in the world’s largest bauxite exporter. The United Nations and representatives of the international community including the West African regional bloc ECOWAS, the European Union and the International Organisation of the Francophonie, which brokered a deal with the opposition to end protests and allow the legislative vote, said they were concerned by delays in the publication of the results.
International election observers in Guinea have voiced concern over “irregularities” during the first parliamentary poll since the 2008 coup. A joint statement said “breaches” were observed in eight out of 38 constituencies. The opposition coalition has already called for the 28 September vote to be annulled over “fraud”. Some provisional results have yet to be released by the electoral commission 11 days since the vote. Most of the 38 directly elected seats in the 114-member parliament have been announced, but not the 76 chosen by proportional representation.
Guinea’s president has dismissed accusations of fraud in last month’s legislative polls, calling them “political rhetoric.” President Alpha Conde also said he will not allow any group to destabilize the country. The president commented Tuesday through his spokesperson, Rachid Nadiye. Nadiye said in an interview with VOA that Conde had urged opposition leaders to seek legal action and have their election grievances addressed in court. The September 28 polling was intended to complete a political transition in Guinea that began with the democratic election of Conde in 2010.
Guinea’s opposition parties pulled their delegates out of the national electoral commission on Thursday after rejecting some provisional results from Sunday’s parliamentary election, meant to cap a transition to democracy. The National Electoral Commission (CENI) began announcing election results on Wednesday, with President Alpha Conde’s ruling RPG party taking an early lead in several districts. But the opposition said it had won the Dubreka district, about 50 km (30 miles) from the capital Conakry. “We won Dubreka and categorically reject the results announced by the CENI yesterday,” said former prime minister Sidya Toure, leader of the opposition UFR party. He said the opposition was withdrawing its observers from the center where votes were slowly being tallied, saying their presence was serving no purpose. “They were not even allowed to speak,” Toure said.
Guinea’s electoral commission said on Tuesday results from a weekend legislative election could take days longer than expected to publish, prompting opposition leaders to warn they would not accept any attempt to rig the outcome. Voters turned out on Saturday after months of political haggling and violent protests for the poll – touted as the completion of the mineral-rich West African country’s transition to democracy after a 2008 coup. A spokesman for the national electoral commission (CENI) had originally suggested provisional results would be ready on Tuesday, 72 hours after the long-delayed legislative election. However, CENI Vice President El Hadji Ibrahim Kalil Keita said on Tuesday the commission had until within 72 hours of the arrival of the last voting sheets from polling stations to announce a result. With sheets trickling in from some 12,000 sites across the country, that could take several days.
Polls have closed in Guinea in the first parliamentary election since a coup in 2008. The election commission suggested turnout had been high, with 40% of the electorate casting their ballots by midday. The run-up was marred by violence, ethnic and religious tension, electoral disputes and intense distrust. The opposition accused President Alpha Conde’s party of trying to rig the elections. The vote will replace a transitional parliament that has run the nation since military rule ended in 2010. Poll dates were repeatedly scheduled and then postponed, largely due to opposition allegations that the government was trying to skew the vote.
Parliamentary elections in Guinea on Saturday officially cap the mineral-rich West African country’s return to civilian rule after a 2008 coup, but many fear that the vote could reignite violence that killed dozens of people earlier this year. The contest, two years overdue, is ostensibly for the 114 seats to Guinea’s National Assembly, but with no single party expected to command an outright majority, political deal-making is sure to follow. And in a country where the president holds the real power, the parliamentary poll is widely seen as a warm-up to the 2015 vote when incumbent Alpha Conde’s five-year mandate ends. “They are all playing for the first round of 2015,” said a Conakry-based diplomat. “How do the presidential dividends weigh up against the frustrations of the first few years?”
Guinea’s main opposition leader on Thursday threatened to call supporters onto the streets if authorities push ahead with a parliamentary election due on Tuesday without fully addressing complaints over preparations. Cellou Dalein Diallo, leader of the largest opposition party and arch rival of President Alpha Conde, said it would be impossible to fix problems linked to voter lists and polling stations on time so a delay of a few weeks was needed. The poll, meant to cap Guinea’s transition back to civilian rule, has been repeatedly delayed since Conde was elected three years ago, sowing doubts amongst Guineans, investors and donors over political progress in the world’s top bauxite exporter. Dozens of people were killed in protests during months of wrangling over the election earlier this year.
Guinea’s government and opposition parties reached a deal on Wednesday to hold long-delayed legislative elections at the end of September to complete the mineral-rich nation’s transition to civilian rule. Elections scheduled for June 30 were postponed after a wave of protests, with the opposition accusing President Alpha Conde of planning to rig the poll. Conde won a 2010 election in Guinea’s first democratic transition of power, but his victory was contested by the opposition. “We have reached an agreement,” Mouctar Diallo, one of the opposition’s leaders, told Reuters. “I hope the international community will guarantee the implementation of this deal.”
Guinean President Alpha Conde said he could delay this month’s legislative elections if authorities found technical problems, a possible concession to opposition groups who have demonstrated against alleged flaws in the vote. More than 50 people have been killed in three months of rallies by activists who accuse Conde of preparing to rig the poll, scheduled for June 30, in the world’s largest bauxite exporter. Protesters want the elections postponed until their complaints are met, Reuters reports. “For me, the date is the right one but I have informed the CENI (the national electoral commission) that these elections must be completely without technical problems,” Conde told France’s TV5.