Guinea’s president wins third term, says electoral commission

Guinea’s president wins third term, says electoral commission
Guinean President Alpha Conde casts his ballot (AP Photo/Sadak Souici)

Guinea’s President Alpha Conde has won a third term in power with 59.49% of the vote, the National Independent Electoral Commission has said.

Some people went on to the streets to protest immediately after the announcement. Such demonstrations have occurred for months after the government changed the constitution through a national referendum, allowing Mr Conde to extend his decade in power.

Opposition candidate Cellou Dalein Diallo won 33.50% of the vote, the electoral commission said. Voter turnout was almost 80%.

Political tensions around the election in the West African nation turned violent in recent days after Mr Diallo claimed victory ahead of the official results.

Cellou Dalein Diallo (Sadak Souici/AP)

Celebrations by his supporters were suppressed when security forces fired tear gas to disperse them.

At least nine people have been killed since the election, according to the government. The violence sparked international condemnation.

“Today is a sad day for African democracy,” said Sally Bilaly Sow, a Guinean blogger and activist living abroad. The government should take into account the will of the people who have a desire for change, he said.

On Friday, internet and international calls were cut off across the nation in anticipation of the election results, according to locals and international observers in the capital, Conakry.

This was the third time that Mr Conde had faced Mr Diallo. Before the election, observers raised concerns that an electoral dispute could reignite tensions between Guinea’s largest ethnic groups.

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