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Guineans reelect Alpha Conde for the third time

Guinea’s President Alpha Conde won a disputed national election, the country’s electoral authority said Saturday, setting the stage for a controversial third term.

The announcement followed days of violence in which around 10 people were killed in clashes over Conde’s re-election bid in the West African nation of some 13 million people.

Electoral authority president Kabinet Cisse said provisional results showed that Conde, 82, had won 59.49 per cent of the votes in the October 18 election.

His main opponent Cellou Dalein Diallo, — at the forefront of protests against a third term for Conde — was credited with 33.5 per cent of the vote.

“Long live democracy, long live peace, may God bless Guinea,” Cisse said during a ceremony in Conakry, as Conde supporters leapt to their feet and cheered the president’s victory.

Criticising the independence of the electoral authority, Diallo, 68, had on Monday declared himself victorious before the results were announced — which triggered confrontations between his supporters and security forces.

Protesters hit the streets of Conakry again Saturday, and residents of some suburbs said police officers were firing tear-gas canisters to clear them away.

“We’re on the street until Cellou Dalein asks us to come home,” said one, who declined to be named, referring to the opposition leader.

Diallo, who says police are blockading him inside his Conakry home, told AFP he would mount a legal challenge to the announced election results.

“We are going to protest this electoral hold-up in the street,” he said.

“But we are still going to refer the matter to the constitutional court, without having too many expectations.”

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Written by Eustace Okere

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