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Authorities Call For Calm as Guinea Awaits Decision on Results

Demonstrations and accusations of voter fraud have begun to cloud first-round election results in Guinea's presidential poll. Authorities have called for calm as the Supreme Court examines candidate complaints before confirming provisional results.

Guinean security forces fired tear gas on a protest Monday in Conakry against alleged electoral fraud in the first round of the country's presidential poll. The demonstration was dispersed without violence.

Guinea's interim prime minister, Jean-Marie Dore, had banned public demonstrations as the country waits for provisional results from the June 27 vote to be confirmed.

Speaking on state television Sunday night, Dore says the decision of the ballot boxes should be respected. He says the Supreme Court has 11 days to announce its decision, which should also be respected. He asks Guineans not to be misled by speculation and he will not tolerate disruptions to public order. Many, he says, just want to continue daily life - to go shopping, go to school or go to work. He says at this time, all contesting of electoral results should take place before the Supreme Court and not in the street.

Provisional results announced Friday put former prime minister, Cellou Dallein Diallo, in the lead with about 40 percent of the vote. Long-time opposition leader, Alpha Conde, came in second, winning just over 20 percent of votes.

If those results are confirmed by the Supreme Court, Diallo and Conde will face off in a run-off planned for July 18.

Announcing the results Friday, Guinea's independent electoral commission said candidates would have eight days to contest the results.

Political parties have begun pointing fingers at each other and at the electoral commission, saying that ballot stuffing, fake voter cards and other attempts at fraud undermined the provisional results.

The party of second-place winner, Alpha Conde, has said it is challenging some of those results before the Supreme Court and in a statement Monday reacted to fraud accusations from the party of third-place candidate, Sidya Toure.

A spokesman for Conde's party, the Assembly of Guinean People, says Toure's party has a responsibility to not only look after the interests of its militants but also to be honest with them and not to lead them into useless combats. He says according to provisional votes, Conde won more votes.

Provisional results have Toure coming in third with just over 15 percent of the vote. His party has challenged some polling results and denounced irregularities, including unlawful interference and manipulation of voting figures.

Despite logistical challenges on poll day, international observers, from the United States, the European Union, the African Union and other bodies, largely applauded the first round of voting and have urged Guineans to stay calm and let the courts decide.

The presidential poll is meant to return the country to civilian government after a military junta seized power in December 2008. Many hope the election will mark the end to more than 50 years of dictatorial rule in Guinea.