CONAKRY, GUINEA —
Guinea's constitutional court on Saturday validated President Alpha Conde's victory in an October 11 election that handed him a second five-year term with a clear majority.
The election's results were announced October 17, but the nine-member court had to weigh complaints from opposition candidates before certifying them.
"The Constitutional Court declares Mr. Alpha Conde ... with 57.84 percent, elected president of the republic," the body's president, Kelefa Sall, said.
The court judged complaints lodged by opposition candidates Faya Lansana Millimono, Papa Koly Kourouma and Lansana Kouyate to have been unfounded.
Guinea's main opposition leader, Cellou Dalein Diallo, who finished second with 31 percent of ballots cast, did not recognize the results when they were announced by the elections commission, claiming there had been fraud and rigging.
However, neither he nor third-place finisher Sidya Toure contested the result before the court.
"We were convinced that whatever the evidence we offered, the Constitutional Court was not going to take it into account. That's why we refused to file a complaint," said Fode Oussou Fofana, a senior official with Diallo's UFDG party.
Conde's emphatic re-election appears to have subdued the opposition, at least for now. After saying he would call upon his supporters to protest against the alleged election fraud, Diallo later told them to remain calm.
The president faces major challenges in his second term, including a lingering Ebola outbreak and a slump in metals prices. Both have dogged his efforts to revive the economy of Africa's main producer of the aluminium ore bauxite.