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.
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.
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.
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.
A key opposition leader in Guinea has said it is unlikely that the country’s long-delayed parliamentary elections will take place on June 30th as planned by the country’s Independent National Elections Commission (CENI). But, Sidya Toure of the Union of Republican Forces party said there has been significant progress on some of the key areas of disagreement during talks mediated by Ambassador Said Djinnit, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for West Africa. Toure said it could be another month or two before the long-delayed parliamentary elections are held.