Guinea top court declares Alpha Conde elected president

Constitutional court rejects allegations of fraud in October 18 polls, hands 82-year-old incumbent a third term his rivals say is unconstitutional.

Guinea''s President Alpha Conde arrives to attend a visit and a dinner at the Orsay Museum
Conde came to power in 2010, in the country’s first democratic elections since independence from France in 1958 [File: Benoit Tessier/Reuters]

Guinea’s constitutional court has confirmed President Alpha Conde’s victory in last month’s disputed election, rejecting allegations of fraud and handing him a third term his opponents say is unconstitutional.

The 82-year-old Conde’s campaign to change the constitution earlier this year in order to bypass a two-term limit and subsequent candidacy in the October 18 polls sparked violent protests that killed dozens of people.

Conde’s main challenger Cellou Dalein Diallo and other opposition candidates alleged irregularities in the official results announced two weeks ago that showed Conde won outright with 59.5 percent of the vote.

Diallo, a former prime minister who lost to Conde in two previous elections, has claimed an early victory based on data from his supporters at polling stations. Earlier this month, he filed an appeal against Conde’s victory to the constitutional court. Several other losing presidential candidates also did the same.

But the constitutional court  said they had produced no evidence.

“Mister Alpha Conde … is declared elected in the first round as president of the Republic of Guinea,” said court President Mohamed Lamine Bangoura.

There is no way for Conde’s rivals to appeal the top court’s decision, leaving the path formally clear for Conde to begin a new six-year term.

A former opposition figure whom an authoritarian leader once sentenced to death, Conde became Guinea’s first democratically elected leader in 2010 and won re-election in 2015.

He pushed through a revamped constitution in March, arguing it would modernise the country. Critics, however, denounced it as a plot to sidestep the two-term limit on presidential mandates.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies