Alpha Condé proclaimed winner of Guinea poll
The surprising results were announced late this evening by the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI), after many delays. Mr Diallo, who was strongly ahead of Mr Condé in the first poll round, was widely epected to win.
Earlier today, before the announcement of the official results by the CENI, both candidates had claimed victory in the poll, with Mr Condé referring to unpublished results and Mr Diallo referring to "widespread fraud" in favour of his foe.
Long-time opposition leader Condé started the vocal war early today, referring to unofficial counting reports from all over the country. He claimed to have won four of five communes in Conakry and almost all prefectures in rural Guinea. The entire country "knows who won the election," Mr Condé told his followers.
Mr Condé's self-proclamation of victory soon sparked violent clashes in Conakry and Labé, killing at least four persons, with followers of Mr Diallo burning tires and throwing stones at the police, protesting a "stolen election." Their party earlier had pulled out of the vote counting process, citing "massive fraud."
Mr Diallo in the afternoon repeated his protest
International election observers, including from the European Union (EU) and the Carter Centre, earlier had praised the historic elections as relatively free, fair and transparent, however noting several bottlenecks in CENI's capacity to organise the polls. Observers had not complained over a possible CENI bias towards one of the candidate.
But Aliou Barry, leader of the national human rights group ONDH, this evening was quoted by 'Le Jour Guinée' as saying that both the ruling military junta and the CENI were strongly in favour of Mr Condé. He presumed there had been manipulations in favour of Mr Condé, which seemed the only logical way to explain the opposition leader's sudden rise in votes. Mr Barry expected CENI officials to proclaim Mr Condé as winner of the election.
By staff writers
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