Guinea Court Confirms President Alpha Conde's Re-election

Conakry (AFP) - Guinea's Constitutional Court on Saturday formally confirmed President Alpha Conde's landslide re-election victory, dismissing opposition claims of vote rigging and fraud in the contested October 11 polls.

Reading the final results, court president Kelefa Sall said Conde took 57.84 percent of the vote in the first round, or 2,284,827 of ballots counted, in line with the results announced earlier this month by the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI).

Conde is therefore "declared president of the republic with a mandate that runs from December 21, 2015 to December 21, 2020," Sall said in a public address in the capital Conakry.

Appeals lodged by three of the seven candidates who ran against Conde that had called for the vote to be annulled were rejected by the court, with Sall saying their complaints either lacked proof or had no bearing on the results.

Conde's main rival, opposition leader and former premier Cellou Dalein Diallo came second in the election with 31.45 percent.

He has refused to recognise the outcome of what he labelled an "illegal" vote tainted by mismanagement and fraud. He was not however among those who appealed to the court to overturn the result, questioning the body's independence.

The opposition has notably criticised the very high turnout in known pro-Conde strongholds and complained of an unfair geographical spread of voter cards, an allegation CENI has denied.

African and European Union observers also noted organisational problems but commended the high turnout and the peaceful nature of the polling day.

At least 13 people were killed in a week of violence in Guinea before and after the presidential election, with the security forces responsible for the deaths of unarmed civilians, Amnesty International said last week.

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

The west African nation's first democratic election in 2010 went to a second round between Conde and Diallo, which Conde narrowly won.

Source: AFP
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