Print options

November 14, 2010

Violence in Guinea as Opposition Leader Looks Set to Win Presidency

Riot police fought stone-throwing demonstrators in Guinea's capital, as it appears a long-time opposition leader has won last week's presidential election. 

Supporters of former president Cellou Diallo burned tires in the street and threw stones at riot police just west of Conakry's Hamdallaye Mosque.  Security forces responded with tear gas, chasing the demonstrators back into neighborhoods north of Route le Prince, where they fired more tear gas.

Conakry's military governor, Resco Camara, led his men up the street toward protesters massed behind pumps at a petrol station as firefighters put out burning tires behind him.

Camara says troublemakers are trying to disrupt the country's peace, so he says his first priority is to secure the capital so the democratic transition to civilian rule can continue.

This was the first major unrest since Guinea presidential elections more than one week ago.  The electoral commission has still not announced a winner, but looking at results announced at polling stations that have not yet released by the electoral commission, it appears that long-time opposition leader Alpha Conde will beat Mr. Diallo.

Mr. Conde says he won four of five communes in the capital, all but one of the prefectures in lower Guinea, all of the prefectures in the forest region and all of the prefectures in upper Guinea.  So he says everyone in Guinea knows who won this election.

Sunday, Mr. Diallo withdrew his party from the vote counting saying it has evidence of widespread fraud and will not accept the results if they include two districts where members of his ethnic group were driven from their homes by pre-election violence.

Mr. Diallo says he wants the electoral commission to delay the announcement of a winner in this race for at least two weeks because of what he says was massive fraud.  Mr. Diallo says the country has already waited four months for this second-round run-off, so the electoral commission should take the time to ensure that its results are reliable.

The electoral commission says it will announce the results later Monday.