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Africa
Guinea confirms Conde as president
Supreme Court confirms Alpha Conde as winner of November 7 presidential poll, rejecting complaints of election fraud.
Last Modified: 03 Dec 2010 16:10 GMT
A state of emergency was imposed following violence at the naming of Conde as winner in provisional results [AFP]

Alpha Conde, Guinea's veteran opposition politician, has been confirmed as president, overcoming complaints of electoral fraud in the presidential poll.

The Supreme Court said on Friday that Conde, 73, had won the election, an announcement delayed by two weeks due to a state of emergency imposed following violence at the naming of Conde as winner in provisional results.

"The candidate of the RPG [Rally of the Guinean People], Alpha Conde, having won a majority with 52.52 per cent of votes cast is elected president of the Republic," Mamadou Sylla, a magistrate who presides over the court's constitutional chamber, said.

'No choice'

Cellou Dalein Diallo, the ex-president, conceded defeat on Friday to Conde after the Supreme Court threw out his complaints of electoral fraud and validated the results of the November 7 runoff.

"Our complaints were not taken into account," Diallo told a news conference. "Since the decision of the Supreme Court cannot be appealed ... we have no choice but to conform to the decision made by the top legal institution in the republic."

Diallo came second with 47.48 per cent of votes in the November 7 poll.

Conakry, the capital, was calm on Friday morning, with Diallo having called for his supporters not to react in the streets to any announcement on the poll.

His supporters had taken to the streets when the provisional results were announced on November 15, claiming that fraud had occurred.

The Supreme Court said that the claims from Diallo to have results from two regions in Upper Guinea, Siguiri and Kouroussa, cancelled were "unfounded".

Violence following the provisional results left at least seven people dead and hundreds of people injured, with security forces cracking down on the protests.

'Excessive force'

The handling of the violence was condemned internationally as excessive.

Human Rights Watch said security forces dominated by ethnic groups supportive of Conde used "excessive force ... targeting members of the Fulani ethnic group."

Many Fulani people support Diallo.

The army on Wednesday said that 26 soldiers had been discharged "for unauthorised shooting, criminal conspiracy, looting, robbery, armed robbery and selling weapons of war before and during the state emergency".

The run-off poll was Guinea's first free vote since independence from France in 1958 and is meant to draw a line under almost two years of military rule

Conde, a former assistant professor at the Sorbonne, was the underdog in the race.

He has faced many difficulties in his life due to his opposition to past governments.

Under Sekou Toure, Guinea's former dictator, Conde was given a death sentence and exiled, and was imprisoned under General Lansana Conte.

He has offered to include Diallo's allies in a government of national unity. It is hoped that the transition to civilian rule will provide legal certainty for billions of dollars of investment by mining companies in Guinea's bauxite and iron ore riches.

Source:
Agencies
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