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Africa
Conde declared Guinea poll victor
Guinea's electoral commission declares veteran opposition politician Alpha Conde winner of presidential run-off vote.
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2010 22:53 GMT
Conde has said he had "clearly" won the presidential runoff[AFP]

Veteran opposition leader Alpha Conde has been declared the winner of Guinea's first ever democratic presidential election, which was marred by deadly clashes on the streets of Conakry, the capital.

After Monday's announcement of official results, gunshots were heard in several suburbs of Conakry according to witnesses.

The country's Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) announced Conde had 52.52 per cent of votes, against 47.48 per cent, for his opponent Cellou Dalein Diallo.

The total voter turnout for the run-off vote was 67 per cent, CENI added.

Guinea's capital was swept by ethnic riots ahead of the announcement of the result.

Supporters of Diallo who are overwhelmingly from the Peul ethnic group, took to the streets after it became clear that Conde was likely to win the vote.

They destroyed the homes of Malinke residents, who are backing Conde, who is also Malinke.

At least one person was killed and dozens injured in clashes between security forces and
supporters of Cellou Dalein Diallo, a presidential candidate.

No fraud evidence

Veteran opposition leader Conde, 72, said he had "clearly" won the run-off, while Diallo said results "purged" of fraud showed him to be the winner.

Commission chairman Siaka Sangare, who has said all claims of fraud had been treated "with the maximum attention" said on Monday night that CENI had received 31 complaints of which 28 came from Diallo's Union of Democratic Forces of Guinea (UFDG).

"Some were under the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court where there was no evidence of the allegations," he said.

The two candidates were neck and neck according to partial results in the crucial vote which aims to end 52 years of dictatorship and military rule in the west African country.
 
Conde called a press conference earlier on Monday claiming victory and urging that the announcement of results go ahead.

The election had been hailed as Guinea's first free vote since independence from France in 1958, after which the west African country has known only military rule.

Guinea has been presided over by a transitional military-led government since a coup in December 2008 followed the death of President Lansana Conte, who held power for 24 years.

General Sekouba Konate, the interim president, led Guinea to its first ever democratic election, with a first round taking place on June 27 from which Diallo emerged with 43 per cent of the vote, while Conde garnered 18 per cent.

The country, which is rich in bauxite and iron-ore, is counting on a new government for desperately needed economic revival in a  nation where most people live without running water and
electricity.

Source:
Agencies
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