Monday, October 19, 2015

Incumbent President Conde declared winner in Guinea; opposition rejects result but won't appeal [UPDATED]

Conde, pictured at a press conference last August, obtained an absolute majority in the first round of votes despite opposition claims of electoral fraud. Photograph: Cellou Binani/AFP/Getty Images
Incumbent president Alpha Condé was declared the winner on Saturday of last Sunday's presidential election with 58% of the vote, enough to avoid a run-off election.

Condé was active in the opposition under most if not all of Guinea's authoritarian rulers before he won the country's first democratic election in 2010. In that election, he came in second in the first round, to Cellou Dalein Diallo, but won in the second round. Diallo rejected that election as fraudulent before conceding when the Supreme Court ruled against him. This time, Diallo again rejected the outcome as fraudulent, but declined to formally appeal the result. Instead, he is calling on his supporters to peacefully protest. Observers declared the election transparent and valid, although with numerous logistical problems.

Following a history of single party rule and military rule (with a veneer of multiparty elections), an election in which the opposition participates, declines to appeal, and calls for peaceful protests over accusations of fraud is progress.
UPDATE: Allison Grossman points out that Diallo was not alone in rejecting the election as fraudulent; the six other opposition candidates joined with Diallo in rejecting the election results before they were announced.

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