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Polls close in Guinea parliamentary elections

About five million voters asked to choose candidates for 114-seat National Assembly in first polls in a decade.

Last Modified: 28 Sep 2013 21:13
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Polling stations have begun to close across Guinea with no violence reported in the West African nation's first parliamentary election in more than a decade, according to AFP news agency.

Voters had a choice of more than 1,700 candidates vying for 114 seats in a National Assembly, which will replace the transitional body that has been running the country since military rule came to an end in 2010.

Logistical problems and poor weather meant some polling stations opened late on Saturday and some were allowed to extend their hours beyond the official cut-off time of 1800 GMT.

Early indications signified that turnout had been good, with 40 percent of the electorate of five million having cast their ballots by midday, according the election commission.

The vote, originally due within six months of the swearing-in of President Alpha Conde in 2010, had been delayed numerous times amid disputes over its organisation, stoking deadly ethnic tensions that have dogged Guinean politics since the country's independence from France in 1958.

The campaign had been marred by days of violence between government and opposition activists which saw more than 50 people killed and a trainee policeman killed, but no major incident had been reported as polling booths began to shut.

The election commission has 72 hours to report preliminary results.

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