Voting closes in peaceable elections in Guinea after tense marketing campaign

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Guineans voted for a president on Sunday, with 82-year-old incumbent Alpha Condé dealing with his longtime rival Cellou Dalein Diallo for the third time.

The election of Guinea – the primary in a string of West Africa – adopted a tense marketing campaign marked by insults traded between President Alpha Condé and his main rival.

About 5.4 million individuals have been registered to vote, and the primary outcomes are anticipated to be introduced in just a few days.

Ten different candidates in addition to Condé and Diallo contested the vote. A second spherical of voting is scheduled for November 24, if essential.

Voting closed at 18 native time after a largely calm voting day, however there’s already concern of disagreement after the election.

“Alpha Condé can not surrender his need to preside over his life,” Diallo advised reporters on Sunday, warning his rival to not seize energy by means of “crafty and violence”.

Safety Minister Albert Damantang Camara advised AFP that there had been “no main incidents” on Sunday, however that he was involved about proposals that Diallo wouldn’t settle for the consequence.

He urged him to “return to his senses.”

‘We wish peace, not a battle’

Mohamed Fode Camara, an worker of the Ministry of Social Affairs, mentioned he “feared the day the outcomes might be revealed”.

“God will save us, inshallah,” he mentioned, including that Guineans “need peace, not a battle.”

A lot of the strain in Guinea pertains to a brand new structure, which Condé pushed by means of in March in distinction to mass protests, arguing that it might modernize the nation.

The transfer controversially allowed him to bypass a two-term restrict for presidential phrases.

After a long time as an opposition activist, Condé turned Guinea’s first democratically elected president in 2010 and gained once more in 2015, however rights teams now accuse him of swinging in opposition to authoritarianism.

Carrying a white and white swimsuit, the president forged his poll in a faculty for the deaf, saying he wished a “free, democratic and clear” election with out violence.

Diallo, 68, was former prime minister below authoritarian chief Lansana Conté.

He forged his vote wearing a white cloak within the Conakry suburb of Dixinn, an opposition fortress. Earlier, he had urged his supporters to “present restraint”.

String of West Africa votes

Condé and Diallo have encountered twice earlier than in tense polls in 2010 and 2015, however this yr was notably crowded.

The outdated rivals traded bitter insults on the marketing campaign observe. Diallo usually raised the query of Condé’s age, urging him to “retire with dignity.”

However the eight-year-old president brushed his jibs and sometimes reminded feverish crowds of Diallo’s time below the autocrat Conté.

Condé claims that he has modernized the nation of 13 million individuals and this yr adopted ways from earlier campaigns and advised voters that he would make Guinea “Africa’s second (financial) energy after Nigeria”.

However regardless of wealthy deposits of bauxite, gold and diamonds and plentiful freshwater provides, Guinea remains to be a poor nation.

Sunday’s vote marks the beginning of a busy election cycle throughout West Africa with votes additionally to be held in Côte d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Ghana and Niger.

Among the main points in these elections bear a putting reference to the political debate in Guinea.

Within the Ivory Coast, for instance, President Alassane Ouattara a 3rd time period on October 31 after revising the structure regardless of fierce opposition.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP)