Partial results from Guinea's presidential election show the country's former prime minister ahead of a long-time opposition leader. Results from areas that have not yet reported are expected to make this a closer race.
It was another late night at Guinea's electoral commission as officials read out more partial results from Sunday's vote.
In districts representing nearly 40 percent of Guinea's registered voters, former prime minister Cellou Diallo has more than 714,000 votes compared to just over 480,000 for long-time opposition leader Alpha Conde.
But the ten additional districts reported late Wednesday are mostly areas where Mr. Diallo was expected to do well. And many of the results still to come are from areas where Mr. Conde is thought to have wide-spread support.
Mr. Diallo's lead shrinks, for example, when factoring in results from the capital's Matoto neighborhood which were announced at the local counting center but have not yet been officially released by the electoral commission.
Electoral commission president Siaka Toumany Sangare apologized for delays in releasing the complete results and says more returns will be announced Thursday afternoon. The electoral commission was expected to announce final results by midnight Wednesday.
But Guinea's supreme court says the three-day deadline for releasing results does not begin until all ballots are received by the central electoral commission. Since that has not yet happened, Sangare says the commission does not consider this a delay.
International electoral observers compiling their own figures expect this to end up a very close race, raising the risk of violence between Diallo and Conde supporters whose earlier clashes delayed this vote several times.
The election is meant to return the country to civilian rule nearly two years after soldiers took power here. In more than 50 years of independence, this is Guinea's first truly-democratic election.