afrol News, 3 December - Guinea's Supreme Court this night confirmed the controversial 15 November provisional election result, rejecting fraud allegations. Alpha Condé therefore will be sworn in as Guinea's next President.
The court found fraud allegations from both candidates widely exaggerated and not supported by the evidence presented. Allegations of "systematic" fraud on a nation-wide level were categorically rejected, in line with conclusions from international election observers.
The ruling was presented under very tense circumstances in the Guinean capital, Conakry. The country's borders have been closed and the court building was under heavy police surveillance.
The court was asked by presidential candidate Cellou Dalein Diallo to review the run-off election results presented last month by Guinea's Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI). Mr Diallo claimed to have documented widespread fraud, costing him his assumed victory in the run-off poll.
The CENI on 15 November surprisingly proclaimed Mr Condé as winner of the 7 November run-off poll. According to the CENI announcement, Mr Condé won the elections with 52.52 percent of the popular vote. Mr Diallo achieved 47.48 percent of the vote.
The results were surprising as Mr Diallo had a large lead in the first round and had also been leading for a long time as partial results from the run-off started ticking in. The first round was held on 27 June, giving Mr Diallo 39.72 percent of the votes, while Mr Condé only achieved 20.67 percent.
The long time span between the first and second poll rounds polarised Guinean voters, provoking several violent clashes between followers of the two main candidates. The ruling military junta, which has overseen the democratic transition, was forced to intervene to secure the run-off.
After the victory of Mr Condé was announced last month, new riots hit Conakry. Emergency laws and curfews have since been the order of the day in Guinea, effectively stopping further blood spill. This week, Guinea's transitional leaders even closed the country's borders to prevent violence and arms smuggling ahead of the anticipated court decision.
It remains to be seen whether today's Supreme Court ruling will put a lasting end to the country's political crisis. Guinean trade unions and civil society groups and the international community in advance called for calm and an acceptance of the ruling. Widespread speculations in Conakry this week about a military coup have not helped calm the situation.
Announcements by Mr Condé that he may appoint a "large union government," including representatives from Mr Diallo's party and from various ethnic groups, may however ease the tensions if Mr Diallo accepts the invitation. The both nevertheless made a joint statement on national radio a few hours before the ruling was expected, calling on their followers to "exercise restraint" after the ruling
Mr Condé is the leader of the Rally of the People of Guinea (RPG) opposition party, which for decades has stood up to Guinea's authoritarian regimes. He is widely believed to have won the stolen 1993 presidential elections.
This year's elections, although troubled, are widely seen as Guinea's first-ever democratic elections since independence in 1958.
The Carter Centre, which had deployed election observer throughout the country, yesterday evening issued a statement hailing the conduct of Guinea’s presidential electoral processes, which it said was "broadly consistent with the country's international and regional obligations for genuine democratic elections."
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