Monday, November 15, 2010

[Guinean news] Clashes sparked as both candidates declare victory

Both candidates in Guinea’s presidential runoff have declared victory, sparking clashes between supporters and police.

RPG candidate Alpha Condé claimed a poll win during a press conference. The long-time opposition leader asked, "How is it that I can win 4 of the 5 communes in Conakry, all of the prefectures in Lower Guinea except for Boke, all the prefectures of the Forest and all the prefectures in Upper Guinea and not win the election?"

UFDG candidate Cellou Dalein Diallo went one step further: proclaiming himself president of the Republic.

The declaration came a day after the UFDG withdrew from the vote counting process. Diallo declared he would not accept the outcome of the vote because the election commission has refused to throw out ballots from two contested provinces [Siguiri and Kouroussa] which were swept by anti-Peul riots in the days before the poll. Diallo said his supporters were too intimidated to show up to vote and his party could not even find representatives to oversee the counting of ballots, reported the Canadian Press.

The International Criminal Court urged Guineans to avoid the same post-electoral bloodshed that tore apart Kenya a few years ago.

According to the most recent figures available from Guinea’s Independent Electoral Commission, Diallo had a narrow 50.62%-49.38% but with just under half the votes counted. However, Voice of America’s Conakry correspondent opined that Condé is likely to win, suggesting that this is what sparked the UFDG boycott.

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