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Guinea President: Weekend Election to Proceed

FILE - Alpha Condé, president of Guinea
FILE - Alpha Condé, president of Guinea

Guinea's President Alpha Conde said Thursday that he had no plans to postpone this weekend's election, dismissing a request from the opposition for more time to fix alleged irregularities.

Conde is tipped to win a second term despite the West African country's prolonged battle with Ebola and a slump in metal prices that has sapped revenue in the bauxite producer.

His challengers have asked for the vote to be delayed, citing problems with voter distribution cards and the inclusion of minors on the electoral register.

"If the CENI [Independent National Electoral Commission] says they are ready, there is no reason to delay them [elections]," Conde told reporters. CENI said on Wednesday that there were no grounds for postponing the presidential vote.

Guinea has a history of electoral violence, and analysts worry that controversy around the electoral process will reignite long-standing tensions between Conde's supporters and those of his main rival, Cellou Dalein Diallo.

On Thursday, supporters of Conde's Rally of the Guinean People and Diallo's backers clashed in Conakry's Kenien district, injuring several people, witnesses said.

This followed clashes in the Forest Region over the weekend between backers of the same two parties, which draw support from the Malinke and Peuhl ethnic groups.

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