82 year-old Conde wins a third term as Guinea’s president

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Guinea's Alpha Conte was announced winner of elections amidst protests; Courtesy Photo

Guinea’s electoral commission has declared President Alpha Condé winner of Sunday’s election with 59.49% of vote local media reported on Sunday.

Preliminary results showed on Thursday Conde was poised for victory giving him a third term in office after a bitterly fought election that has sparked deadly street violence.

According to local media at least 20 people have been killed following the polls and the opposition coalition FNDC vowed to resume protests on Monday.

On Thursday with 37 of 38 electoral districts counted, Conde, had received 2.4 million votes, versus 1.26 million for his nearest rival, opposition candidate Cellou Dalein Diallo.

Conde’s decision to run for a third term sparked repeated protests over the past year, resulting in dozens of deaths, including at least 13 in skirmishes since Sunday’s vote.

It also raised concerns that he and other rulers in the region are undermining the progress that West Africa has made towards multi-party democracy since the 1990s. Ivory Coast has seen similar clashes this week as President Alassane Ouattara seeks a third mandate in an election later this month.

Like Ouattara, Conde says a recent constitutional referendum reset his two-term limit but his opponents say he is breaking the law by holding onto power, and that they will contest the results.

The rainy streets of the capital Conakry were calm after the results were declared, according to witnesses across the city, though the political tension remained high.

“The results are not in line with what happened on polling day. We have the evidence of the fraud and we will challenge all of this in the Constitutional Court,” said Diallo spokesman Aliou Condé, without providing any evidence.

Opposition protestors on streets of Conakry mid week; Courtesy Photo

Conte spent decades in opposition to a succession of regimes in Guinea, unsuccessfully running against President Lansana Conté in the 1993 and 1998 presidential elections and leading the Rally of the Guinean People (RPG), an opposition party. Standing again in the 2010 presidential election, Condé was elected president in a second round of voting.

When he took office that December, he became the first freely elected president in the country’s history but was re-elected in 2015 with about 58% of the vote.

Upon his election in 2010, Condé said he would strengthen Guinea as a democracy and fight corruption but he and his son have since been implicated in a number of corruption scandals, mostly related to the mining industry and suspected of election rigging.

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