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Africa
Guinea protests over 'rigged polls'
Thousands march in Conakry over alleged fraud in June presidential elections.
Last Modified: 06 Jul 2010 04:47 GMT
Around 3,000 people marched in Conakry to protest the election results [AFP]

Police in Guinea have fired teargas at thousands of people marching against alleged fraud in last month's first round of presidential elections.

The protest took place in the capital Conakry on Monday, in defiance of a government ban on demonstrations.

Cellou Dalein Diallo, the former prime minister, won the June 27 election with nearly 40 per cent of the vote and is set to go forward into a runoff with second-placed Alpha Conde on July 18.

But losing parties including supporters of Sidya Toure, another ex-prime minister, say they have evidence of rigging.

On Monday a crowd of around 3,000 people, largely composed of women, marched in front of the electoral commission and the supreme court chanting "Sidya was cheated" and "we want Sidya for the second round".

Irregularities

Toure missed out on a place in a runoff vote to be the west African country's first freely elected president, after gaining 15.60 per cent of the first-round vote, according to provisional results.

Diallo scored 39.72 per cent and Conde 20.67 per cent.

Many of the initial 24 candidates have alleged irregularities in voting and they have eight days to contest the results, according to electoral commission rules.

The commission has itself admitted "many cases of fraud".

Over three million Guineans, 77 per cent of registered voters, participated in the country's first democratic election since independence from France in 1958 in a bid to end half a century of civilian and military dictatorships.

Source:
Agencies
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