/ 3 December 2010

Guinea’s supreme court confirms Conde election victory

Guinea’s Supreme Court confirmed early on Friday the election victory of opposition leader Alpha Conde who won 52,52% of votes compared to rival Cellou Dalein Diallo’s 47,48%.

“The candidate of the RPG (Rally of the Guinean People), professor Alpha Conde, is elected president of the Republic,” Magistrate Mamadou Sylla, who presides over the court’s constitutional chamber, announced in front of scores of journalists.

Voter turnout was 67,81%.

The results were anxiously awaited under a state of emergency placed two weeks ago after the announcement of Conde’s victory led to violent election clashes and a crackdown by security forces in Diallo’s strongholds.

Three days of violence claimed at least seven lives and left hundreds more injured. On Thursday afternoon both candidates launched separate appeals for calm in interviews on public radio.

In his third shot at the country’s top job, Conde has won what has been hailed as the country’s first free and democratic election since independence, after a string of despotic and military regimes.

The 72-year-old former professor at the Sorbonne University in Paris had been a veteran opposition figure, having come up against all regimes since independence from France in 1958.

In 1970 he was sentenced to death in absentia by president-for-life Ahmed Sekou Toure who ruled from 1958 until 1984.

Returning to Guinea in the early nineties after 30 years in exile, he spent more than two years in prison under the regime of General Lansana Conte (1984-2008). — Sapa-AFP