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Guinea Opposition Denounces Presidential Election Results

Opposition leaders in Guinea are denouncing as fraudulent election results giving long-time President Lansana Conte another term in office.

Guinea's main opposition leader, Siradiou Diallo, denounced the official results as, "complete fabrication."

Mr. Diallo, who like other main opposition leaders boycotted the vote, said he believes turnout was no higher than 15 percent.

The government claims an 80 percent turnout, with President Conte receiving more than 95 percent of the votes.

The only challenger in the election was little-known solar energy expert Mamadou Bhoye Barry.

The Supreme Court has until the end of the week to validate the results.

Most opposition leaders had called on their supporters to abstain from voting, saying they did not believe the election would be free and fair.

But Mr. Diallo says the opposition does not want Guinea to spiral into civil war like neighboring Ivory Coast, so it will avoid organizing protests for now.

Mr. Conte has been in power since a military coup in 1984. Constitutional changes adopted two years ago allowed him to seek a third elected mandate.

The president's poor health was the main topic of the campaign. He is 69-years-old, and he suffers from acute diabetes and can barely walk. During the campaign, he appeared at just one event, and on election day, last Sunday, he voted without getting out of his car.

His aides say his feet don't work, but his head still does.

Meanwhile, Guinea's economy has been suffering in recent years, since foreign donors cut off aid accusing Mr. Conte of poor governance and lack of respect for human rights.

Electricity and water shortages are now common in the capital, Conakry.