/ 8 November 2010

Former premier Diallo leads after peaceful poll in Guinea

Former Premier Diallo Leads After Peaceful Poll In Guinea

Election observers in Guinea have highlighted the peaceful nature of Sunday’s presidential run-off vote and the high voter turnout in the West African country.

Initial results released early on Monday showed former prime minister Cellou Dalain Diallo holding a firm lead with 73% of the vote against veteran opposition rival Alpha Conde.

Concerns of ethnic conflict remained, however, as vote counting continued on Monday. The election was repeatedly postponed following a first round of voting in June due to violent clashes between supporters of the two candidates.

In June’s first round Diallo won 43% to Conde’s 18%.

Siaka Sangare was appointed new electoral commission chief following complaints of irregularities during this round. Sangare ordered that all results be published on the commission’s website and made accessible to the national media.

New ethnicity could lead Guinea
Diallo is a Peul. No member of this ethnic group has ever been president in Guinea, although many are members of Guinea’s ruling military junta.

Sunday’s poll was Guniea’s first democratic election. Since independence from France in 1958 the country has been the scene of a string of coups.

The group of military officers who came to power by coup after the death of president Lasana Conte in December 2008 drew wide international condemnation after a bloodbath against opposition demonstrators at a stadium in the capital. — Sapa-dpa