Guinea: President Alpha Conde re-elected

Guinea’s Alpha Conde has been re-elected President after he won an outright majority in the first round of a contested presidential vote, as the opposition cried foul and pledged protests over the result.

Guinea’s electoral commission declared Conde winner of the October 11 poll late on Saturday, saying he won nearly 58 percent of the vote, compared to opposition leader Cellou Dalein Diallo, who won a tick over 31 percent.

“The Constitutional Court still needs to render its verdict, but the National Electoral Commission proclaims President Alpha Conde winner in the first round,” commission head Bakary Fofana told a news conference.

All seven opposition candidates condemned the vote 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, before the final results were announced.

Diallo accused the commission and the government of abuses including ballot stuffing, allowing minors to vote, changing the electoral map and intimidating the voters but he said he would not appeal to the court.

“Everybody knows this election was a masquerade organized by the electoral commission and the government to declare Alpha Conde the winner in the first round,” Diallo said in a statement.

“I will invite other candidates and the citizens, who are the real victims of this electoral hold-up, to organize peaceful demonstrations in accordance with the law to express our outrage.”

The election was only the second democratic presidential poll since Guinea gained independence from France in 1958.

Guinea’s first ever democratic election in 2010 went to a second round between Conde and Diallo, which Conde narrowly won.