Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Long-time opposition leader becomes first democratically elected president of Guinea

RPG candidate Alpha Conde has been elected president of Guinea, according to the country's Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI). Conde won 52.5% of the vote in the long-delayed presidential runoff as compared to 47.5% for former prime minister Cellou Dalein Diallo.

The result is a bit of a surprise since Diallo gained nearly 43.7% of the vote in the first round while Conde garnered less than 18.3%.

It is not yet clear whether Diallo's supporters will accept the results, as his UFDG party withdrew from vote counting on Sunday after the CENI refused to disqualify results from two Conde strongholds contested by Diallo.

A long-time opposition leader, Conde was exiled during much of the regime of Guinea's first dictator Sekou Toure and was imprisoned by Toure's successor Lansana Conte.

After gunshots were heard in Conakry following the announcement of Conde's victory, Diallo made a public appeal for calm.

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