People went to the streets to protests after the results were announced. The protests have occurred for a long time. Barricades were burned. The clashes killed at least nine people, including a police officer. The government had also changed the constitution through a national referendum. This allowed him to extend his power to the next decade.
Cellou Dalein Diallo, the opposition candidate, received 33.50% of votes. However, the voter turnout was 80%. Diallo claimed victory before the announcement of the official results. The police halted the celebrations. They fired tear gas to disperse the supporters.
The clashes killed at least nine people. A police officer was also killed. Barricades were burned soon after results were announced. The opposition says 27 people were killed, and AFP could not independently confirm the official death toll of 10.
“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.
The National Electoral Commission declared the provisional tally. However, the result has to be approved. The constitutional court will do the approval of the results. With his win, Conde is set to govern for another six years. He could potentially run for another fourth term after that.
Conde was previously a political activist. He spent decades in exile. He also became the country’s first democratically elected President. But the human rights group started accusing him of becoming authoritarian. He was a former prime minister under the authoritarian leader Lansana Conte. He ran against Conde in both 2010 and 2015.
In March, Conde made some changes in the constitution. He argued that the change would modernize the country. However, the move allowed him to extend his presidentship for two-terms.
Guinea is divided along ethnic lines. The President has the backing of the Fulani people. Fulanis are an ethnic Malinke community. Conde was accused of stoking ethnic divisions for electoral ends, but he denied the charges.
The ICC prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, has warned the instigators of violence. If fighting erupts, rival parties will be prosecuted. She said:
“I wish to repeat this important reminder: anyone who commits, orders, incites, encourages or contributes, in any other way, to the commission of Rome Statute crimes, is liable to prosecution either by Guinean courts or by the ICC.”
Image courtesy of Nelson Antoine/Shutterstock
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