Guinean President Conde ahead of rivals in election


Guinea’s octogenarian leader, Alpha Conde, won four constituencies in the West African nation’s presidential vote, preliminary results announced by the election commission showed on Tuesday.

Conde won three districts in the capital, Conakry, scoring over 50% of the vote in two of the districts, and won Boffa district north of the capital with over 56%, the preliminary results showed. He leads the total vote count so far.

Kabinet Cissé, the head of the electoral commission, said more preliminary results from the Sunday vote will be announced in the days ahead.

Conde’s main rival, Cellou Dalein Diallo, who said on Monday he had won the election, sparking violence with at least four killed, came second in all of the districts, according to the results released by the commission.

Guinea’s hotly contested election comes amid growing concerns about the reversal of democratic progress in West Africa. In August, Mali’s government was overthrown by the army, while Ivory Coast has witnessed violent protests over President Alassane Ouattara’s bid for a third term.

The decision by 82-year-old Conde to seek a third mandate after he pushed through a constitutional referendum that reset the clock on a term-limit has triggered violence over the past year in which at least 50 people have died, rights groups say.

One person was killed and many others injured in further clashes between Conde and Diallo’s supporters on Tuesday, Guinea’s security minister Damantang Albert Camara said.

The clashes erupted in Kissidougou some 700 km southeast of the capital Conakry after Diallo declared on Monday that he had won.

“One person was killed, and many, including police officers who intervened, were injured,” Camara told Reuters, adding that a curfew has been declared in the area.

Diallo’s victory claim before the official count was completed has raised concerns about escalating violence in the iron ore and bauxite-rich country.

The Economic Community of West African States, the African Union and the United Nations condemned Diallo’s claim in a joint statement late on Monday, calling it “regrettable”.